Human rights in North Korea
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Human rights in North Korea are heavily restricted. There is no right to free speech, and the only radio, television, and news providers that are deemed legal are those operated by the government. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 political prisoners are detained in concentration camps, where they perform forced labour and risk summary beatings, torture and execution.
The full extent of human rights abuses in North Korea is unclear. The North Korean government makes it very difficult for foreigners to enter the country and strictly monitors their activities when they do. Aid workers are subject to considerable scrutiny and excluded from places and regions the government does not wish them to enter. Since citizens cannot freely leave the country, it is mainly from stories of refugees and defectors that the nation's human rights record has been constructed. The government's position, expressed through the Korean Central News Agency, is that North Korea has no human rights issues, because its Juche system of North Korea was chosen by the people and serves them faithfully.
North Korea's human rights record has been widely condemned, including by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and the United Nations. The General Assembly of the United Nations has since 2003 annually adopted a resolution condemning the country's human rights record. The latest resolution of December 19, 2011, passed by a vote of 123–16 with 51 abstentions, urged the government in Pyongyang to end its "systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights", which included public executions and arbitrary detentions. North Korea rejected the resolution, saying it was politically motivated and based upon untrue fabrications.
Position of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Human rights discourse in North Korea has a history which predates the establishment of the state in 1948. Based on Marxist theory, Confucian tradition, and the Juche idea, North Korean human rights theory holds that rights are conditional rather than universal, that collective rights take priority over individual rights, and that welfare and subsistence rights are important.
According to Kim Il-Sung, the concept of democracy cannot "provide freedom and rights to hostile elements who oppose socialism or impure elements who act against the interests of the People."
The government of North Korea claims that the Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea guarantees the human rights of its people, and that these guarantees are fully elaborated in its laws and regulations. It claims that these human rights guarantees and laws are strictly enforced throughout the country and with respect to every individual.
The concept of civil rights for people who oppose the regime was rejected by North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung. There is an extensive system of informers throughout North Korea which monitor Koreans with respect to political and other possible infractions without reference to formal civil rights.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has officially acknowledged the widespread human rights violations that regularly occur in North Korea. The following section is a direct quote from the United Nation's Human Rights Resolution 2005/11 referring specifically to occurrences in North Korea:
|“||Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, public executions, extra judicial and arbitrary detention, the absence of due process and the rule of law, imposition of the death penalty for political reasons, the existence of a large number of prison camps and the extensive use of forced labour;
Sanctions on citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea who have been repatriated from abroad, such as treating their departure as treason leading to punishments of internment, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or the death penalty;
All-pervasive and severe restrictions on the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association and on access of everyone to information, and limitations imposed on every person who wishes to move freely within the country and travel abroad;
Continued violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, in particular the trafficking of women for prostitution or forced marriage, ethnically motivated forced abortions, including by labour inducing injection or natural delivery, as well as infanticide of children of repatriated mothers, including in police detention centres and labour training camps.
Freedom of expression
The North Korean constitution has clauses guaranteeing the freedoms of speech and assembly. In practice other clauses take precedence, including the requirement that citizens follow a socialist way of life. Criticism of the government and its leaders is strictly curtailed and making such statements can be cause for arrest and consignment to one of North Korea's "re-education" camps. The government distributes all radio and television sets; citizens are forbidden to alter them to make it possible to receive broadcasts from other nations, and doing so carries draconian penalties.
There are numerous civic organisations but all of them appear to be operated by the government. All routinely praise the government and perpetuate the personality cults of the deceased Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung. Defectors indicate that the promotion of the cult of personality is one of the primary functions of almost all films, plays, and books produced within the country.
Freedom of religion
Persecution of Christians
According to NGOs North Korea is amongst the countries where persecution of Christians is the worst.
There are numerous reports about people sent to prison camps and subjected to torture and inhuman treatment because of their faith. It is estimated that 50,000 – 70,000 Christians are held in North Korean prison camps. There are even reports on public executions of Christians, e. g. the Christian Ri Hyon-ok was publicly executed in Ryongchon on 16 June 2009 for giving out Bibles, while her husband and children were deported to Haengyong political prison camp. If it is discovered that North Korean refugees deported from China have converted to Christianity, they suffer harsher ill-treatment, torture and prolonged imprisonment. The government considers religious activities as political crimes, as this could challenge the personality cult and semi-deification of Kim Il-sung and his family.
From 1949 to the mid-1950s under the rule of Kim Il-sung all churches were closed. According to AsiaNews all non-foreign Catholic priests were executed, and Protestant leaders who did not renounce their faith were purged as "American spies". The martyrdom of the Benedictine monks of Tokwon Abbey is documented exemplarily, as the process of beatification was initiated for them. Only 60 out of 400 Buddhist temples have survived the religious persecution in the 1950s. The 1,600 monks were killed, disappeared in prison camps or were forced to recant their faith. The remaining temples are now preserved as national cultural heritage. North Korean defectors reported that government-employed "monks" are serving as caretakers and tourist guides, but they did not see genuine worship. As reported most Buddhists are afraid to openly practice their religion in the temple areas and practice their religion only in secret. However at special occasions ceremonies were permitted by the authorities.
The North Korean government estimated the numbers of religious believers in 2002 as 12,000 Protestants, 10,000 Buddhists, and 800 Catholics, while estimates by South Korean and international church-related groups were considerably higher. In addition the Chondoist Chongu Party, a government-approved traditional religious movement, had approximately 15,000 practitioners. Since 1988 four churches (buildings) were erected in Pyongyang with foreign donations to give the impression of religious freedom, but are actually mainly demonstrated to foreign visitors. The North Korean constitution nominally protects religious freedom, as long as it is not used to harm the state or the social order. However, in practice there is no genuine religious freedom and the government severely restricts religious activity except if it is supervised by government organizations.
Freedom of movement
North Korean citizens usually cannot freely travel around the country, let alone travel abroad. Emigration is forbidden. Only the political elite may own or lease vehicles, and the government limits access to fuel and other forms of transport due to frequent shortages of gasoline/petrol, diesel fuel, crude oil, coal and other fossil fuels (satellite photos of North Korea show an almost complete absence of vehicles on all of its roads throughout the country, even in its cities). Forced resettlement of citizens and whole families, especially as punishment for political reasons, is said to be routine.
North Korean refugees who flee to China are often later forcibly repatriated back to North Korea by authorities, are routinely beaten, and sent to prison camps. This is because the North Korean government treats emigrants from the country as defectors. This treatment is more severe in cases where North Korean refugees have come into contact with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are associated with South Korea or with religions, especially Christianity. In cases where the North Korean government discovers that contact has occurred between refugees and these NGOs, the punishments for these refugees are torture and execution upon their repatriation back to North Korea.
Only the most loyal, politically reliable, and healthiest citizens are allowed to live in Pyongyang. Those who are suspected of sedition, or who have family members suspected of it, are expelled from the city; similar conditions affect those who are physically or mentally disabled in some way (the only exception being People's Army Korean War veterans with injuries relating to the conflict). This can be a significant method of coercion since food and housing are said to be much better in the capital city than elsewhere in the country.
Freedom of the press
North Korea is currently ranked second to last (ahead of Eritrea) on the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. The constitution of North Korea provides for freedom of the press, but in practice all media is strictly controlled by the government. The national media is focused almost entirely on political propaganda and the promotion of the personality cults surrounding Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. It emphasizes historical grievances towards the United States and Japan.
Reporters Without Borders claims that radio or television sets which can be bought in North Korea are pre-set to receive only the government frequencies and sealed with a label to prevent tampering with the equipment. It is a serious criminal offense to manipulate the sets and receive radio or television broadcasts from outside North Korea. In a party campaign in 2003 the head of each party cell in neighbourhoods and villages received instructions to verify the seals on all radio sets.
As North and South Korea use different television systems (PAL and NTSC respectively), it is not possible to view broadcasts across the border between the two countries; however, in areas bordering China, it has reportedly been possible to receive television from that country. A North Korean envoy for the United Nations reported that any North Korean citizen caught watching a South Korean film may result in that person being sent to a labour camp.
North Korea's population is one of the world's most ethnically homogeneous and today immigration is almost non-existent. Among the few immigrants that have willingly gone to North Korea are Japanese spouses (generally wives) of Koreans who returned from Japan from 1955 to the early 1980s. These Japanese have been forced to assimilate and for the most part, the returnees overall are reported to have not been fully accepted into North Korean society (with a few exceptions, such as those who became part of the government) and instead ended up on the fringes, including concentration camps mentioned below. Foreigners who visit the country are generally strictly monitored by government minders and are forbidden to enter certain locations.
On 22 March 2006, the Associated Press reported from South Korea that a North Korean doctor who defected, Ri Kwang-chol, has claimed that babies born with physical defects are rapidly put to death and buried. A United Nations report also mentions how disabled people are allegedly "rounded up" and sent to "special camps."
However the charity Handicap International reports that it has been operating in North Korea since 1999 assisting the Korean Federation for the Protection of Disabled People, including supporting orthopaedic centres serving thousands of disabled people. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported in 2006 that it had assisted in setting up a rehabilitation centre for disabled people in Pyongyang. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines reports that North Korea "has a comprehensive system for assisting persons with disabilities; however, this system is limited by the general economic situation of the country." North Korea participated in the Paralympic Games for the first time in 2012.
A group called "A Woman's Voice International" alleged that the state forcibly drafts girls as young as 14 years to work in the so-called kippŭmjo that includes prostitution teams. The source used is unclear as to whether only adult kippŭmjo are assigned to prostitution or whether there is prostitution of children – other kippŭmjo activities are massaging and cabaret dancing. Claims were made that there are orders "to marry guards of Kim Jong-il or national heroes" when they are 25 years old.
The People's Republic of China returns all illegal immigrants from North Korea which usually imprisons them in a short term facility. Women who are suspected of being impregnated by Chinese fathers are subjected to forced abortions; babies born alive are killed. Abortions up to full term are induced by injection; live premature babies or full-term newborns are sometimes killed but more commonly simply discarded into a bucket or box then buried. They may live several days in the disposal container.
The death penalty, often without judicial due process, is administered for a wide variety of political and common crimes. Attempts to escape from the country or to escape from a prison camp within the country may result in execution on the spot. Personnel in the criminal justice system have wide discretion and are allegedly authorised to operate without regard to the formal legal rights of Koreans.
North Korea resumed public executions in October 2007 after they had declined in the years following 2000 amidst international criticism. Prominent executed criminals include officials convicted of drug trafficking and embezzlement. Common criminals convicted of crimes such as murder, robbery, rape, drug dealing, smuggling, piracy, vandalism, etc. have also been reported to be executed, mostly by firing squad. The country does not publicly release national crime statistics or reports on the levels of crimes.
In October 2007, a South Pyongan province factory chief convicted of making international phone calls from 13 phones he installed in his factory basement was executed by firing squad in front of a crowd of 150,000 people in a stadium, according to a report from a South Korean aid agency called Good Friends. In another instance, 15 people were publicly executed for crossing the border into China.
Reports from the aid agency "Good Friends" also said that six were killed in the crush as spectators left.
A U.N. General Assembly committee has adopted a draft resolution, co-sponsored by more than 50 countries, expressing "very serious concern" at reports of widespread human rights violations in North Korea, including public executions. North Korea has condemned the draft, saying it was inaccurate and biased, but it was still sent to the then 192-member General Assembly for a final vote.
In 2011, two people were executed in front of 500 spectators for handling propaganda leaflets floated across the border from South Korea, apparently as part of a campaign by former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to tighten ideological control as he groomed his youngest son as the eventual successor.
The prison system
According to many organisations, the conditions in North Korean prisons are harsh and life threatening. Prisoners are subject to torture and inhumane treatment by DPRK authorities. Public and secret executions of prisoners, even children, especially in cases of escape attempts; infanticides (forced abortions and baby killings upon birth) also often occur. The mortality rate is very high, because many prisoners die of starvation, illnesses, work accidents or torture.
The North Korean government flatly denies all allegations of human rights violations in prison camps, claiming that this is prohibited by criminal procedure law, but former prisoners testify that there are completely different rules in the prison camps. The North Korean government failed to provide any information on prisoners or prison camps or to allow access to any human rights organization.
Lee Soon-ok gave detailed testimony on her treatment in the North Korean prison system to the United States House of Representatives in 2002. In her statement she said, "I testify that most of the 6,000 prisoners who were there when I arrived in 1987 had quietly perished under the harsh prison conditions by the time I was released in 1992." Many other former prisoners, including Kang Chol-hwan and Shin Dong-hyuk, gave detailed and consistent testimonies on the human rights crimes in North Korean prison camps.
According to the testimony of former camp guard Ahn Myong Chol of Camp 22, the guards are trained to treat the detainees as sub-human, and he gave an account of children in one of the camps who were fighting over who got to eat a kernel of corn retrieved from cow dung.
Internment camps for political prisoners
The internment camps for people accused of political offences or denounced as politically unreliable are run by the state security department. Political prisoners are subject to guilt by association punishment. They are deported with parents, children and siblings, sometimes even grandparents or grandchildren without any lawsuit or conviction and are detained for the rest of their lives.
The internment camps are located in central and northeastern North Korea. They comprise many prison labour colonies in secluded mountain valleys, completely isolated from the outside world. The total number of prisoners is estimated to be 150,000 to 200,000. Yodok camp and Bukchang camp are separated into two sections: One section for political prisoners in lifelong detention, another part similar to re-education camps with prisoners sentenced to long-term imprisonment with the vague hope of eventual release.
The prisoners are forced to perform hard and dangerous slave labour with primitive means in mining and agriculture. The food rations are very small, so that the prisoners are constantly on the brink of starvation. In combination with the hard work this leads to huge numbers of prisoners dying. An estimated 40% of prisoners die from malnutrition. Moreover many prisoners are crippled from work accidents, frostbite or torture. There is a rigid punishment in the camp. Prisoners that work too slowly or do not obey an order are beaten or tortured. In case of stealing food or attempting to escape, the prisoners are publicly executed.
Initially there were around twelve political prison camps, but some were merged or closed (e.g. Onsong prison camp, Kwan-li-so No. 12 was closed down following a defeated riot in 1987 where around 5,000 prisoners were killed). Today there are six political prison camps in North Korea (see below). Most of the camps are documented in testimonies of former prisoners, and for all of them coordinates and satellite images are available.
|Political Prison Camp||Official Name||Size||Prisoners|
|Kaechon Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 14||155 km² (60 mi²)||15,000|
|Yodok Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 15||378 km² (146 mi²)||46,500|
|Hwasong Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 16||549 km² (212 mi²)||10,000|
|Bukchang Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 18||73 km² (28 mi²)||50,000|
|Haengyong Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 22||225 km² (87 mi²)||50,000|
|Chongjin Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 25||0,25 km² (0,1 mi²)||3,000+|
The South Korean journalist Kang Chol-hwan is a former prisoner of Yodok Political Prison Camp and has written a book, The Aquariums of Pyongyang, about his time in the camp. The South Korean human rights activist Shin Dong-hyuk is the only person known to have escaped from Kaechon Political Prison Camp and gave an account of his time in the camp. The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) estimates that over 10,000 people die in North Korean prison camps every year.
The reeducation camps for criminals are run by the interior ministry. There is a fluent passage between common crimes and political crimes, as people who get on the bad side of influential partisans are often denounced on false accusations. They are then forced into false confessions with brutal torture in detention centers (Lee Soon-ok for example had to kneel down whilst being showered with water at icy temperatures with other prisoners, of whom six did not survive) and are then condemned in a brief show trial to a long-term prison sentence. In North Korea political crimes are greatly varied, from border crossing to any disturbance of the political order, and are rigorously punished. Due to the dire prison conditions with hunger and torture, a large percentage of prisoners do not survive their sentence term.
The reeducation camps are large prison building complexes surrounded by high walls. The situation of prisoners is quite similar to that in the political prison camps. They have to perform slave work in prison factories and in case they do not meet the work quota, they are tortured and (at least in Kaechon camp) confined for many days to special prison cells, too small to stand up or lie full-length in. In distinction from the internment camps for political prisoners, the reeducation camp prisoners are instructed ideologically after work and are forced to memorize speeches of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il and to undergo self-criticism rites. Many prison inmates are guilty of common crimes penalized also in other countries, but often they were committed out of economic necessity, e.g. illegal border crossing, stealing food or illegal trading.
There are around 15 – 20 reeducation camps in North Korea.
Two camps are documented with coordinates, satellite images and testimonies of former prisoners.
|Reeducation Camp||Official Name||Size||Prisoners|
|Kaechon Reeducation Camp||Kyo-hwa-so No. 1||300 x 300 m (328 x 328 yds)||6,000|
|Chongori Reeducation Camp||Kyo-hwa-so No. 12||150 x 350 m (164 x 383 yds)||2,000|
Other camps are documented with short testimonies of former prisoners.
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 3 Sinuiju (ca. 2,500 prisoners) in North Pyongan
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 4 Kangdong (ca. 7,000 prisoners) in South Pyongan
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 8 Yongdam (ca. 3,000 prisoners) in Kangwon
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 11 Chungsan (ca. 3,300 prisoners) in South Pyongan
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 15 Hamhung (ca. 500 prisoners) in South Hamgyong
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 22 Oro (ca. 1,000 prisoners) in South Hamgyong
- Kyo-hwa-so No. 77 Danchon (ca. 6,000 prisoners) in South Hamgyong
- Kyo-hwa-so Hoeryong (ca. 1,500 prisoners) in North Hamgyong
The South Korean human rights activist Lee Soon-ok has written a book (Eyes of the Tailless Animals: Prison Memoirs of a North Korean Woman) about her time in the camp and testified before the US Senate.
Propaganda and cult of personality
In the decades after the Korean War there were reports that North Korea had abducted many foreign nationals, mainly South Koreans and Japanese. For years these were dismissed as conspiracy theories even by many of the regime's critics; however, in September 2002, Kim Jong-Il acknowledged to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi the involvement of North Korean "special institutions" in the kidnapping of Japanese citizens in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He stated that those responsible had been punished. Five surviving victims were allowed to visit Japan and decided not to return to North Korea. For eight more Japanese abductees, officials claimed deaths caused by accidents or illnesses; Japan says this leaves two still unaccounted for, and says that what the North claimed were the ashes of Megumi Yokota were not hers. In addition, information from American deserter Charles Robert Jenkins indicates that North Korea kidnapped a Thai woman in 1978.
Despite the admission to Prime Minister Koizumi, the North Korean government continues to deny the kidnappings of other foreign nationals and refuses any cooperation to investigate further cases of suspected abductions. However, officials of the South Korean government claim that 486 South Koreans, mostly fishermen, are believed to have been abducted since the end of the Korean War. Advocates and family members have accused the government of doing little or nothing to gain their freedom.
Most countries and multilateral organizations have criticized North Korea for its human rights abuses. In each November since 2005, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee has condemned North Korea for its conduct.
Multiple countries have condemned the allegations made against North Korea. China's delegation to the United Nations said that North Korea has made considerable progress in protecting human rights. Sudan said that instead of criticizing the country, there should be support by the international community for North Korea's efforts to protect human rights. Venezuela's delegation to the United Nations asserted that the allegations made by UN observers against North Korea are based on flawed criteria and are not credible. Cuba's delegation to the United Nations said that the body's claims made against North Korea are politically motivated and seek to impose isolation and pressure on the country, in violation of the Human Rights Council's stated principles.
The U.S. and Japan have passed laws and created envoys to focus attention to this issue. The U.S. initially passed the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 in October of that year, and reauthorized the law in 2008. It created an office at the State Department focused on North Korean human rights, run originally by Special Envoy Jay Lefkowitz.
In its 2006 country report on North Korea, Freedom House described the country as a "totalitarian dictatorship" and categorized it as "Not Free." North Korea has charged that those who make allegations about human rights in the country are interfering in the country's internal affairs and trying to force down their values.
Robert Park, a Korean-American Christian missionary from Arizona, illegally entered North Korea on Christmas Day, 2009, with the purpose of drawing attention to North Korea's human rights abuses. He was released on February 6, 2010. Park has remained publicly silent about his time in captivity, but it has been reported that he was severely tortured. Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a second American who illegally entered North Korea in January, was imprisoned for 8 months before being freed following a humanitarian visit by former US President Jimmy Carter. Gomes, a teacher from Boston, Massachusetts, devout Christian, and associate of Robert Park, was tried by North Korea for his illegal entry, and on April 6, 2010 was sentenced to eight years of hard labor and fined $700,000 (USD). Later that month he was allowed to speak to his mother by phone. In late June, North Korea responded to international findings that it had deliberately sunk the South Korean patrol boat Cheonan in March by publicly threatening to impose on Gomes "harsher punishment" based on "wartime law." Gomes was reported to have attempted suicide in July 2010.
With the exception of the international abductions issue regarding Japanese, Americans, and South Koreans, which it says has been fully resolved, North Korea strongly rejects all reports of human rights violations and accuses the defectors of promoting only anti-North agenda.
Number of victims
According to R.J. Rummel, forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in North Korea from 1948 to 1987; others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone. Pierre Rigoulot estimates 100,000 executions, 1½ million deaths through concentration camps and forced labor, and 500,000 deaths from famine, for a total of 2.1 million victims (not counting 1.3 million soldiers and civilians killed on both sides during the Korean War). Estimates based on the most recent North Korean census suggest that 240,000 to 420,000 people died as a result of the 1990s famine and that there were 600,000 to 850,000 unnatural deaths in North Korea from 1993 to 2008. The famine, which claimed as many as one million lives, has been described as the result of the economic policies of the North Korean government, and as deliberate "terror-starvation".
- Human rights in South Korea
- Human experimentation in North Korea
- Prisons in North Korea
- Human rights in East Asia
- North Korea Uncovered
- Politics in North Korea
- Korean War POWs detained in North Korea
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||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2013)|
- Amnesty International: North Korea: Political Prison Camps - Document on conditions in North Korean prison camps
- Freedom House: Concentrations of inhumanity – Analysis of the phenomena of repression associated with North Korea's political labor camps
- National Human Rights Commission of Korea: Survey Report on Political Prisoners’ Camps in North Korea – Overall and systematic analysis of political prison camps on the basis of in-depth interviews with North Korean witnesses
- Christian Solidarity Worldwide: North Korea: A case to answer – a call to act – Report to emphasize the urgent need to mass killings, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and related international crimes
- U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: Thank you father Kim Il Sung – Eyewitness accounts of severe violations of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in North Korea
- U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: A prison without bars – Refugee and defector testimonies of severe violations of freedom of religion or belief in North Korea
- Satellite imagery and witness accounts of North Korean political prison and reeducation camps
- North Korea Freedom Coalition
- Final Report of Jay Lefkowitz, U.S. Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea
- Human Rights Watch -- list of North Korea-related human rights abuse articles and studies.
- Official materials related to the North Korean Human Rights Act
- U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
- Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (in Korean and English)
- Archive of North Korea coverage at the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.
- AHRC's documents on consecutive solitary confinement, torture and national security law in south Korea
- "Seoul Train" by Jim Butterworth, Lisa Sleeth and Aaron Lubarsky, 2004 PBS documentary, at Independent Lens PBS website. ("Seoul Train" at Global Voices PBS website)
- Escaping North Korea by Tom O'Neill[disambiguation needed]. National Geographic, February 2009
- Daily NK run by the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights, includes reports citing informers inside North Korea
- U.S. State Department Annual Reports