UK & World News
UN To Slam N Korea's 'Crimes Against Humanity'
Crimes against humanity, such as the extermination and starvation of people, have been committed in North Korea, a UN Commission is expected to say.
It has apparently discovered evidence of an array of such crimes which also include a widespread campaign of abductions of individuals in South Korea and Japan.
The reclusive, authoritarian state is notorious for its political prisons camps, repression and famine that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the 1990s.
Among the new crimes allegedly committed, the report lists murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, sexual violence, forcible transfers and forced disappearances, and persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds.
It also cites executions and punishment through forced labour in the North's gulag prison camps.
The commission carried out public hearings with more than 80 victims and other witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington but was refused access into North Korea itself.
The report, which follows a year-long investigation, is due for release on Monday but its conclusions have been released to the Associated Press.
It does not examine in detail individual responsibility for the alleged crimes but recommends steps toward accountability, including referring the findings to the International Criminal Court.
A spokesman for North Korea's UN Mission in New York, said: "We totally reject the unfounded findings of the Commission of Inquiry regarding crimes against humanity. We will never accept that."
Meanwhile, two North Korean defectors have described a life of torture, starvation, solitary confinement and beatings in rare and shocking interviews with Sky News.
The pair, a mother and her son, were both held in labour camps in North Korea as punishment for trying to escape the country.
They eventually managed to escape. They were reunited in the South Korean capital, Seoul, where they now live and from where they agreed to talk to Sky News.
"It's very lonely, waiting for your death," 28-year-old Mr Park said.
Park is not his real name. He is protective of his identity because he now helps others escape from North Korea. We have agreed to his request for anonymity.
"Every night, when lights go out and it's time to sleep, from every room there is a sound, the sound of beating." he says, recalling a childhood inside a labour camp.
"Every night someone tries to escape; someone who wasn't obedient. They strip you naked and start hitting you. All night."
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