North Korea has spectacularly gained the attention of America, the West and indeed the entire world with their continued nuclear tests and reckless threats against America and other allies. The threat is certainly real and well-reported, but not so well-reported is their deploreable human rights atrocities.
North Korea is truly an authoritarian state with a dynastic leadership among the most repressive in the world. Freedoms enjoyed in Western democracies such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of information and labour rights are greatly restricted if not non-existent in North Korea. For example, tight control over the border with China prevents North Koreans from escaping to China backed up with government threats of detention, forced labor and even public executions to ensure obedience. All media and publications are state-controlled, with use of internet and phone calls limited within the country and heavily censored. Labour rights are non-existent as North Korea refuses to join the International Labour Organization and prohibits the right for labour unions to organize or collectively bargain.
Religious freedom is systematically repressed with well-documented reports of systematic persecution, imprisonment and even death of Christians by cruel means. The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a 2014 report listed murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion and other sexual violence among other human rights atrocities, revealing a state where these violations have no parallel in the world.
Whatever the reported secular benefit improvements in North Korea in recent times, no improvements whatever have been offered to the persecuted church as an estimated 70,000 christians remain locked away in virtual concentration camps. This is a crime of huge proportions and suppression of the truth about it only adds to the problem.