How bad is North Korea? According to a new United Nations report, it's really, really, really bad. Reports the Guardian:
North Korea's leadership is committing systematic and appalling human rights abuses against its own citizens on a scale unparalleled in the modern world, including crimes against humanity, a United Nations report has concluded.
The UN's commission of inquiry on human rights in North Korea has been gathering evidence for almost a year – including in an unprecedented series of public hearings in four cities around the world, which heard sometimes harrowing testimony from North Korean escapees. Its report cited the country's system of secret prison camps, deliberate starvation and a complete lack of free thought as among probable crimes against humanity.
The inquiry chairman has personally written to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to warn that he could face trial at the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague, saying that as head of state and overall commander of the country's military Kim bears personal culpability.
Of the multiple, egregious crimes against humanity that include rampant torture, illegal imprisonment, starvation as a method of control, forced abortions, abductions, enslavement, and mass killings, the report stated:
"These are not mere excesses of the state: they are essential components of a political system that has moved far from the ideals on which it claims to be founded. The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
Sadly, the report probably won't do much to affect the abuses going on in North Korea given China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and can veto resolutions regarding its ally. China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Monday, that China would not be submitting the UN report to the ICC (International Criminal Court).
“Submitting this report to the ICC will not help resolve the human rights situation in the relevant country,” she said.
But without China's muscle, it is unclear what will.