North Korea

What Is Life Really Like in North Korea?

from Daily Signal,

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee believed that her country was the best on the planet. She believed that Americans were evil, South Koreans were starving to death and North Koreans were better off than everybody else. Every North Korean believes this. She discusses this at length in her new novel, “The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story,”

“Even if you are a North Korean that doesn’t find themselves in a prison camp situation and you’re living a normal North Korean life—to say that ordinary North Korean people are enduring unbelievable repression of freedom is accurate,” Enos said. The crimes against humanity in North Korea include extermination; murder; enslavement; torture; imprisonment; rape; forced abortions and other sexual violence; persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds; the forcible transfer of populations; the enforced disappearance of persons; and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation. The U.N. inquiry further details nearly 400 pages of horror stories, ranging from government officials confiscating food from those in need to women in the kwanliso prison camps who were tragically forced to drown their own babies.

Unlike with Nazi Germany, though, the international community cannot claim ignorance as an excuse for not intervening to stop the human rights abuses.

“Now is the time for action. We can’t say we don’t know anymore. The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action,” Michael Kirby, the chairman of the U.N. inquiry, pleaded in the report. “Our generation must tackle this issue urgently and collectively, and indeed the world will judge us by our response.”

Here in the United States, Congress can take measures as well. In early February, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced the bipartisan North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act. Unlike prior legislation, this bill has an important human rights focus that came about as a response to the U.N. inquiry.

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