By Hilary White

LONDON, October 16, 2006 ( – A North Korean refugee has told the Times that “racially mixed” babies born in the isolated communist state are regularly killed by doctors. A North Korean doctor, Ri Kwang-chol, told the UK paper that babies conceived by Chinese fathers are targeted in the North Korean government’s racial purity program.

“There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,” Ri said. Such babies were put to death by medical staff and buried quickly, he said at a forum on human rights in Seoul.

The Times speculated that a “mystical” doctrine of Korean racial superiority is the guiding force of the North Korean dictatorship, rather than Marxist theories.

The revelation follows previous reports that the children of female prisoners in forced labour camps are killed either after or before birth by forced abortion. A survey conducted by the Korean Bar Association showed that of 100 North Koreans who had defected to the South, over half indicated they had witnessed or heard of imprisoned pregnant women who were forced to have abortions.

In 2005 the Office of the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights included forced abortion and infanticide in its 2005 report on human rights violations in North Korea.

A Christian organization, Helping Hands Korea, has compiled a number of reports on the conditions of life in North Korea dubbed the “hermit kingdom”.

One report, titled, “Thank You Father Kim Il Sung,” says that the once vibrant intellectual and religious life of the country has been almost completely eradicated by a “quasi-religious cult” of personality centred on the family of dictator Kim Jong Il.

The report says that from cradle to grave, “North Korean citizens are surrounded by the all-encompassing presence of the ‘Great Leader’ (the late Kim Il Sung) and his son, the ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong Il.”

The Times quotes one woman, 30-year-old “Han Myong-suk,” who said she was sold into sexual slavery to a Chinese farmer near the Great Wall and caught by Chinese police and deported back to Korea. She has since escaped with assistance from Helping Hands Korea and has testified that her unborn child was killed by Korean prison guards.

Read related coverage:
  Report Shows Forced Abortions Routine in North Korea Women’s Prisons

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