Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

Topographic map of North Korea. Created with G...

Topographic map of North Korea. Created with GMT from SRTM data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is the Year 2013 how can this be let to go on in the world today…what is wrong with us that we let this happen….jboy2244

The villages turned into CONCENTRATION CAMPS in North Korea as brutal regime  struggles to house hundreds of thousands of political prisoners

  • Images show new security  perimeter enclosing entire civilian villages
  • Amnesty International  claims ‘general repression’ is now commonplace
  • Human rights watchdog is  urging U.N. forum to launch inquiry on abuses

PUBLISHED:13:47, 7 March  2013| UPDATED:08:35, 8  March 2013

North Korea is expanding its already  extensive network of prison camps, eating up entire villages as  it  struggles to house hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, latest  satellite images have revealed.

The secretive communist regime has built a  huge ‘security perimeter’ around an existing camp restricting movement in nearby  villages as part of its ‘general repression’ of its people, human rights  watchdog Amnesty International said today.

The reclusive country’s network of political  prison camps is believed to hold at least 200,000 people and has been the scene  of rapes, torture, executions and slave labour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human  Rights Navi Pillay said in January.

Satellite images show how North Korea is expanding its already sizeable network of prison camps Satellite images show how North Korea is expanding its  already sizeable network of prison camps

North Korea has built a huge 'security perimeter' around a camp for political prisoners, restricting movement in nearby villages Clampdown: North Korea has built a huge ‘security  perimeter’ around a camp for political prisoners, restricting movement in nearby  villages

Analysis of new satellite images of the area  near Camp No. 14 in Kaechon shows that the government is ‘blurring the lines’  between its camps and surrounding civilians, Amnesty said.

The images show that between 2006 and 2013,  North Korea has constructed 20 km (12 miles) of posts around the Ch’oma-Bong  valley located 70km north of Pyongyang.

 The new perimeter encloses civilian  villages with a series of check points  and guard towers, Amnesty said in a statement voicing fears about government  intentions for the valley, 70 km north of the capital Pyongyang.

‘The security and control adjacent to Camp 14  shows the degree to which general repression and restrictions on the right to  liberty of movement have become commonplace in North Korea,’ said Rajiv Narayan,  North Korea researcher for Amnesty.

Expansion: Satellite images reveal an increase in housing between 2008 and 2011, in North Korea's Ch'oma-Bong valley Expansion: Satellite images reveal an increase in  housing between 2008 and 2011, in North Korea’s Ch’oma-Bong valley

The images show that between 2006 and 2013, North Korea has constructed 20 km (12 miles) of posts around the Ch'oma-Bong valley located 70km north of Pyongyang. The images show that between 2006 and 2013, North Korea  has constructed 20 km (12 miles) of posts around the Ch’oma-Bong valley located  70km north of Pyongyang.

A satellite image shows what Amnesty International believes is the construction of an entrance gate in North Korea's Ch'oma-Bong valley A satellite image shows what Amnesty International  believes is the construction of an entrance gate in North Korea’s Ch’oma-Bong  valley

The London-based group called on the U.N.  Human Rights Council, holding its main annual session in Geneva through March  22, to launch an international commission of inquiry into grave and systematic  violations ‘including crimes against humanity’.

North Korea denies the existence of a network  of camps.

A similar U.N. investigation similar to the  one Amnesty is demanding, made up of independent experts, has said it is  documenting war crimes committed by both sides in Syria’s conflict so as to  build a case for future prosecution.

Top U.N. rights official Pillay, who met two  North Korean camp survivors in December, has called for an independent  investigation into ‘one of the worst – but least understood and reported – human  rights situations’.

Concerns about abuses in the impoverished  country have persisted for years, but have been largely overshadowed in  international forums by fears over North Korea’s attempts to become a nuclear  weapons power.

Blind obedience: North Koreans attend a political rally earlier this week. Criticism of the ruling communist regime is strictly forbidden Blind obedience: North Koreans attend a political rally  earlier this week. Criticism of the ruling communist regime is strictly  forbidden

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote  later on Thursday on a draft resolution in response to North  Korea’s third  underground nuclear test last month.

Amnesty commissioned DigitalGlobe to take the  images and help with their analysis following reports of the possible  construction of a new political prison camp adjacent to Camp No. 14 in Kaechon,  South Pyongyan province.

Dear leader: 29-year-old dictator Kim Jong Un ‘Dear leader’: 29-year-old North Korean dictator Kim  Jong Un

‘We expected to find a new or expanded prison  camp. What we found is in some ways even more worrisome,’ said Frank Jannuzi,  deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA.

The security perimeter beyond what appears to  be the formal boundaries of Camp 14 blurs the line between people in the prison  system known as Kwan-li-so and civilians, he said.

New buildings that appear to house workers  are probably linked to expanded mining activity in the region, Amnesty  said.

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans,  including children, are held in political prison camps and other detention  facilities, often subjected to forced hard labour, denial of food rations, and  torture, it said.

Many detainees have not committed any crime,  but are relatives of those deemed unfriendly to the regime and detained as a  form of ‘collective punishment’, it added.

Japan and the United States called last week  for the council to launch an inquiry into alleged violations including torture  and execution of political prisoners in North Korea.

The council already has an independent  investigator on North Korea, Marzuki Darusman, who has said a wider inquiry  should examine personal and institutional accountability for crimes.

Activists hope the forum adopts a resolution  on North Korea by consensus now that neither China nor Russia are members.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2289574/Villages-turned-CONCENTRATION-CAMPS-North-Korea-brutal-regime-struggles-house-hundreds-thousands-political-prisoners.html#ixzz2UsrFvaX9 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


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‘Do me a solid’ and free American prisoner: Dennis Rodman’s plea to Kim Jong  Un to release tour operator sentenced to 15 years hard labor


Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is tapping his  friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ask for the release of a  Korean-American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the  North.

‘I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North  Korea or as I call him “Kim,” to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,’  Rodman said on Twitter on Tuesday.

He said the tweet was posted as a direct  response to a Seattle Times editorial that dared him to ask Kim for the release,  if the two are really buddies.

BudsBuds: Dennis Rodman, left, has called on North Korea’s  leader Kim Jong Un, right, to release American prisoner Kenneth Bae (Mr Rodman  with Kim Jong Un in February during his visit to North Korea)


Dennis RodmanSway: Dennis Rodman, left hugging the North Korean  leader in February, referred to the dictator as ‘Kim’ in his Twitter message  asking him to release the American being held captive

Rodman visited North Korea in February and  sat next to Kim as they watched an exhibition basketball game. His trip came at  a time of high tension between Pyongyang and Washington and was not endorsed by  the U.S. State Department.

Kenneth BaeKenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, is a tour operator who was  arrested in North Korea in November

Bae is a tour operator who was arrested in  North Korea in November.

The North’s Supreme Court sentenced him last  week for unspecified ‘hostile acts’ against the state.

In a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday,  North Korea said the 44-year-old Washington state man entered the country with a  disguised identity.

Bae is at least the sixth American detained  in North Korea since 2009.

The others eventually were deported or  released, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former  U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry rejected  speculation that it was seeking a U.S. envoy to negotiate Bae’s release, saying  he is not a political bargaining chip.

Analysts have said North Korea may be using  Bae as bait to open direct negotiations with the United States over its nuclear  arms programs.

Bae’s sentencing came during a lull after  weeks of threats of war from Pyongyang against the U.S. and South  Korea.

 The U.S. has called for the North to  immediately release Bae.

It relies on Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang  to deal with Bae’s case because the North and the U.S. have no formal diplomatic  relations after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce instead of a peace  treaty.

Social MediaSocial Media: The former NBA star took to Twitter to  send an informal plea to the North Korean leader

In an op-ed piece for the Seattle paper,  dated May 3 by Thanh Tan, the author suggested Rodman try his hand at diplomacy,  given he seemed cozy with the dictator during his recent trip to the country.

‘Dennis Rodman claims to be lifelong buddies  with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Really?’ she wrote.

‘Well, perhaps now is the time for the NBA  has-been to practice some real basketball diplomacy and call up his so-called  friend for a favor: Grant American detainee Kenneth Bae amnesty and release him  to his family.’

North Korea has not described the exact  nature of Bae’s alleged crimes. Friends say Bae is a devout Christian and tour  operator based in China who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed  orphans.

Rodman said after his trip to North Korea  that he planned to return in August to vacation with Kim, a diehard basketball  fan.

By Daily Mail Reporter

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321335/Dennis-Rodmans-plea-Kim-Jong-Un-release-tour-operator-sentenced-15-years-hard-labor.html#ixzz2SibnnSWM Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navane...

NORTH KOREA: Could a Commission of Inquiry finally be a reality?  29/01/2013

 After years of CSW campaigning for a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on North Korea, the goal is finally within reach. With international heavyweights backing the proposal, the time has never been better to launch an official investigation into crimes against humanity in the world’s most oppressed nation.

“The deplorable human rights situation…has no parallel anywhere else in the world”

There are several signs that this could be the moment for the UN to act:

   • In January, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, added her support, calling the situation “deplorable”,    • The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea has called for a COI,    • The countries sitting on the UN’s Human Rights Council this year are much more likely to vote in favour of a COI,    • In the past few days the governments of Japan and Australia have called for a Commission of Inquiry,    • Leading international legal experts have backed up CSW’s ongoing calls.

Over five years ago CSW published its groundbreaking report, ‘North Korea: A Case to Answer, A Call to Act’, and recommended a Commission of Inquiry. Following recent small victories of support, North Korea’s regime is under greater pressure than ever to account for its extensive human rights violations.

There needs to be one government or group of governments who will take the lead. We believe the UK could be that government. That’s why we need you to email your MP today.  But we’ve got to move fast – there’s just a small window of opportunity here!

Q: What would a Commission of Inquiry achieve? A: It would put the spotlight on North Korea’s record, and hold the regime to account.

Q: Won’t North Korea refuse to cooperate? A: Very likely, but thousands of North Koreans have escaped the country and would provide evidence to the inquiry that would contradict the regime’s attempts to deny long-term and systematic human rights violations.

Q: Why is CSW concentrating on this now? A: This year, the composition of the Human Rights Council is the most favourable it has ever been. It is very likely that a majority will favour the establishment of a COI this March. This is a moment to be seized.

Q: What’s the next step? In order for a Commission of Inquiry to be established, there needs to be one government or group of governments which will take the lead. CSW has asked supporters of religious freedom across the world to lobby their governments so that each country can play a significant role in the establishment of this COI.  Find out how you can lobby your MP here.

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Freedom in Burma, sustained support for Pastor Nadarkhani and opportunities for action in North Korea.

Update: Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to he...
Image by Robert Reed Daly via Flickr



Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
Image by Robert Reed Daly via Flickr

Mervyn Thomas, CSW Chief Executive

Mervyn Thomas, CSW Chief Executive

It has been an exciting week for Burma! Over 600 political prisoners were released, including leaders of the failed revolution in 1988. We also saw freedom for two pastors in Laos who had been in jail for over a year, after their church services were deemed ‘illegal meetings’. But in Iran, Pastor Nadarkhani is still in prison, after refusing an offer of freedom in return for acknowledging that Mohammed, the Muslim prophet, was a messenger sent by God. And as we launch our CRY FREEDOM campaign, we need you to email North Korea’s new leader to urge him to make freedom a priority.

Freedom for 600 prisoners in Burma

Last Friday saw 651 political prisoners released from jail in Burma – just weeks after visits to the country by Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Among the freed prisoners were several high-profile leaders of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.

Could there be genuine change afoot in Burma? We should still be cautious, and keep campaigning and praying for the release of the remaining political prisoners. But this really does seem to be a significant sign of hope.

Pastor Nadarkhani again refuses to recant his faith

Last week we learned that Pastor Nadarkhani’s faith is still strong! The Iranian authorities had offered him freedom if he made a statement that the Muslim prophet Mohammed was a messenger sent by God. He refused, and as a result is still in prison, waiting for the final verdict on his case.

I have been so encouraged by the level of support for this innocent man – there are now almost 16,500 members in CSW’s Facebook group calling for his release! Please continue to pray.

A chance for change in North Korea?

When a country gets a new leader, it’s a great opportunity for people who care about justice to campaign for change in that country. As North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong Un takes office, now is the time for us to press for an end to the brutal oppression of the North Korean people.

It is one of the worst countries in the world in which to be a Christian – religious freedom is completely non-existent. The population suffers every kind of human rights violation you can think of.

Take just a few minutes to send a message to Kim Jong Un, and ask him to open up the country to international human rights monitors. This is an important step towards our long-term goal of freedom and justice in North Korea. Stand with us at this crucial time, and send your email today.

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