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Christians urge North Korea to change path on ruling party's 70th anniversary

by Hannah Tooley

There are reports that North Korea could launch long range rocket as part of the celebrations surrounding the Founding of the Korean Workers' Party, part of the Kim dynasty, currently led by Kim Jong-un.

The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), made up 40 human rights groups from all over the world, is urging North Korea to change its ways.

North Korea statues

Photo: IBL/REX

 Speaking to Premier, Ben Rogers, East Asia team Leader at Christian Solidarity Worldwide said that this move could have bigger consequences: "Every time North Korea launches a rocket, or threatens to launch a rocket or threatens to launch a rocket, it further destabilises the situation on the Korean peninsula and escalates the ready very serious tensions - I imagine this will be a show of force."

He said that the Kim regime is unique: "The regime has, unlike any other regime in the world, successfully managed to gain control - not only of peoples mind's but of their lives and their way of thinking.

"200,000 people in prison camps, subjected to the worst possible forms of torture, starvations, slave labour, dire living conditions and in many instances execution."

He stressed that North Korea consistently abuses its people through forced labour, sexual violence, food deprivation, and the denial the freedom of expression, thought and religious belief.

A UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea issued a report in February that "found a disturbing array of crimes against humanity," that "arise from policies established at the highest level of the State," and the "gravity, scale, duration and nature of the unspeakable atrocities committed in the country...does not have any parallel in the contemporary world".

ICNK also urged the leadership of the Korean Workers' Party to take action and stop the government's practice of forced labour, using prisoners and ordinary citizens.
It is thought that hundreds of thousands of prisoners have died over the past decades because of inhuman conditions or executions.

Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch said: "The grim reality is the North Korea state, its agencies and its state enterprises employ an economic strategy based on systematically grabbing the benefits of forcing people to work for prolonged periods without remuneration, often in arduous or highly dangerous conditions.

"There needs to be an end to the North Korean government's used of forced labour wherever it occurs in the country."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Ben Rogers here:

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