North Korea

North Korea cracks down on anti-socialist behaviour, detains critics of its COVID-19 policies

In recent months the crackdown on anti-socialist behaviour has continued while the number of prisoners at North Korea’s notorious political prison camps has increased due to the detention of people who criticise the country’s COVID-19 quarantine policies. An NGO has released a list of nearly 600 people associated with human rights abuses in North Korea’s penal system to flag them for eventual prosecution, while a new report has found there is reasonable basis to conclude that Kim Jong-un and other North Korean officials should be investigated for crimes against humanity committed in the country’s detention centres. Read more

North Korea cracks down on anti-socialist behaviour, detains critics of its COVID-19 policies

North Korean citizens punished severely for using mobile phones and watching foreign films

In recent months, the authorities have sentenced to death and executed individuals for smuggling, watching and distributing South Korean films. Hundreds have been arrested for using Chinese mobile phones and there are severe punishments for international callers in the China-North Korea border region Read more

North Korean citizens punished severely for using mobile phones and watching foreign films

Increasing crackdown on ‘anti-socialist behaviour’ in North Korea as new political prison camp built

In recent months, social order disciplinary units have been created to control and squash “anti-socialist behaviour” including arrests for watching videos or possessing foreign mobile phones. A new political prison camp in North Pyongan province has been reported as well as harsh sanctions for those breaking COVID-19 regulations Read more

Increasing crackdown on ‘anti-socialist behaviour’ in North Korea as new political prison camp built

Expansion of prison camps in North Korea as people suffer from COVID-19 restrictions

In recent months there have been reports of the expansion of prison camps, the use of forced labour from the country’s network of prison camps to mine coal and other minerals as well as intensified restrictions on communications with the outside world. Read more

Expansion of prison camps in North Korea as people suffer from COVID-19 restrictions

Serious abuses in North Korean camps documented by NGOs while radio broadcasts jammed

In recent months abuses continue to be documented including the jamming of radio broadcasts by a South Korean non-profit human rights organisation and a new detention camp for violators of COVID-19 quarantine rules. Human rights groups also reported satellite evidence of North Korean death camps located just 30 miles south of the capital Pyongyang and systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic conditions and unpaid forced labour in pretrial detention Read more

Serious abuses in North Korean camps documented by NGOs while radio broadcasts jammed

UN condemns North Korea for denial of freedoms through ‘absolute monopoly on information’

Over the last few months, new surveillance cameras were installed on the border with China while the UN reported that scores of North Korean women who had travelled abroad for work were abused by security officials and police. Defectors also continued to face systematic harassment through calls and texts Read more

UN condemns North Korea for denial of freedoms through ‘absolute monopoly on information’

North Korea intensifies surveillance of its citizens to prevent defections amid the pandemic

In recent months the regime has intensified surveillance of its citizens working in China and arrested individuals for texting on COVID-19. It has also continued to crack down on defections and ‘anti-socialist’ activity within the military. Read more

North Korea intensifies surveillance of its citizens to prevent defections amid the pandemic

North Korea develops new systems to increase surveillance and block outside information

There have been reports of new systems being developed to increase surveillance of citizens and the UN Special Rapporteur highlighted restrictions on freedom of information in his last report. There has also been a report on how North Korea counters foreign media content and the arrest of defectors at the border. Read more

North Korea develops new systems to increase surveillance and block outside information

Sustained repression in North Korea with crackdown on international calls and foreign media content

In recent months there have been reports of crackdown on international phone calls and on foreign media content by the North Korean security services. Read more

Sustained repression in North Korea with crackdown on international calls and foreign media content

Ongoing crackdown on foreign media content and increased surveillance at the border

Amid the denuclearisation talks in Vietnam between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in February 2019, the authorities increased restrictions. In recent months the North Korea authorities have cracked down on foreign media content and increased video surveillance at the China border. Read more

Ongoing crackdown on foreign media content and increased surveillance at the  border