The Washington Post’s Foreign Affairs blogger Max Fisher reported that North Korea is constructing its first ever ski-resort under the direct orders of its young leader Kim Jong-Un.
However, it remains a distant dream since Switzerland and other Western companies cannot sell ski lifts to North Korea because of sanctions.
North Korea aka Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is currently subject to international financial sanctions, imposed in March, for conducting an underground nuclear test in February. It is illegal to provide any technology or even luxury goods to North Korea under these sanctions.
Pyongyang issued a flaming response to the European countries that refused to sell ski lifts to DPRK:
“This is an intolerable mockery of the social system and the people of the DPRK and a serious human rights abuse that politicizes sports and discriminates against the Koreans.”
While North Korea is allowed to believe what it wants to, following are some “real” human rights abuses that need Pyongyang’s attention:
1. Christianity And Genocide In North Korea:
According to the annual "World Watch" list for this year compiled by Open Doors Organization, North Korea is the most dangerous country for Christians around the globe. The report states:
“For the eleventh year running, this is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. One of the few remaining Communist states, it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labour camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians.”
2. Food Crisis In The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea:
A majority of North Korean population suffers from severe food crisis. Amnesty International cited in a report that North Korea remains dependent on food aid to feed its people.
“The government policy still prevents the swift and equitable distribution of this aid, while the population is denied the right to freedom of movement, which would enable people to go and search for food,” Amnesty stated.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) prepared a report on DPRK’s food crisis in April. It stated ‘around 6 million people in Korea don’t have enough to eat, and nearly a million of them are children under five.’
3. North Korean Inmates Starved And Tortured, Abuse Widespread: U.N.
In September, U.N. human rights investigators said in their first report on violations in North Korea: “Inmates in DPRK’s prison camps have suffered starvation, torture and other unspeakable atrocities.”
Reuters reported that a North Korean woman testified how she "witnessed a female prisoner forced to drown her own baby in a bucket".
United Nations Inquiry Head Michael Kirby included testimony of “torture, starvation, and punishing generations of families under the so-called practice of ‘guilt by association’” in the report.
4. North Korea: Freedom Of Movement, Opinion And Expression:
DPRK is a reclusive state and its government forces its people to remain the same way, denying them their fundamental right to movement ad expression.
Amnesty International cited in a 2009 report on Korea:
“Thousands of North Koreans illegally cross the border into China every year. If caught by the Chinese authorities and forcibly returned, they face detention, torture and, if convicted of illegal border-crossing, execution. Freedom of opinion and expression is severely restricted in North Korea. All media is controlled by the state, and dissent is not tolerated.”
5. No Proper Internet Access:
North Korea has been described as the world’s worst Internet black hole. Internet access is illegal in the country and only a few government officials are allowed access while the rest of the citizens use North Korea’s own internet called Kwangmyong. NBC News reported in March that for most North Koreans, online access doesn't exist.
Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organization that promotes web freedom, named North Korea one of 12 "enemies" of the Internet last year.
These were just five of the several more human rights abuses in North Korea. Do ski-lifts still sound more important, Kim?
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