Submitting to Rape Is a 'Necessity' in North Korea

Submitting to Rape Is a 'Necessity' in North Korea

Human Rights Watch's Emma Daly said in North Korea, men with power "sexually harass, rape or abuse women, really taking advantage of the climate of fear in the country".

The report does not directly link the abuses to the highest ranks of Kim's regime, but it suggests there are few controls on officials such as police officers and prison-camp guards to prevent assaults against women.

According to the report, titled You Cry at Night but Don't Know Why, and the six people reached by the AP, sexual violence targeting women is rampant in North Korea.

Kim Min-ki of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party told reporters earlier that the country's National Intelligence Service observed North Koreans "conducting preparation and intelligence activities that seem to be in preparation for foreign inspectors' visit" at Punggye-ri nuclear test site and the Sohae Satellite launching ground.

"Every night a prison guard would open the cell door".

Another former inmate said: "The idea that sexual violence is wrong, that it would not be my fault, that some "law person" could be there to try to protect me could have never even occurred to me while living in North Korea".

South Korea's foreign ministry said Seoul would work with the worldwide community to make practical improvements for human rights in North Korea, and that by pursuing peace and warmer inter-Korean relationships, a positive improvement on human rights in North Korea can be achieved.

Lee So-yeon, a North Korean refugee who now heads the nonprofit New Korea Women's Union, said women in North Korea's military are unable to find justice after rape.

North Korea attempts to portray itself as a socialist paradise free of crime, and in a submission to the United Nations past year said only five people were convicted of rape in 2015 and seven in 2011.

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"I think President Moon is naive and short-sighted to pretend that human rights can wait, ' he said, urging Seoul to 'stop accepting negotiations exclusively on the terms of the North Korean government". The report will likely anger North Korea, which often complains about what it claims is persistent US hostility.

The revelations come amid efforts by South Korea and the United States to lead North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs.

"The North Koreans we spoke with told us that unwanted sexual contact and violence is so common that it has come to be accepted as part of ordinary life: sexual abuse by officials, and the impunity they enjoy, is linked to larger patterns of sexual abuse and impunity in the country", the report stated. However, critics say North Korea's human rights status has been ignored as nuclear negotiation talks continue.

The country also promised further steps, including the closure of its main Yongbyon nuclear complex, Moon said following his summit with the North's Kim Jong Un. They said that "click, click, click was the most frightful sound" because it meant the key was turning in the door of their prison cells.

Thirty-three women said they were raped at detention and prison facilities, 51 said they witnessed rapes in such facilities, and 25 said they heard of such cases, HRW quoted the South Korean survey as saying. "They recognize that what happened to them is a crime, and they are angry enough to basically say 'we want somehow to have this information come out now so that what happened to us doesn't happen to other people, '" he said.

US and South Korean forces have been training together for years, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings to an invasion from the North, or even "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime.

But the Human Right Watch report paints a different picture.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during a summit in September, agreed to pursue a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics and send combined teams to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games and other major sports events.

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