Infanticide of Disabled Babies Commonplace in Communist North Korea

Wed Mar 22, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

by Hilary White

SEOUL, March 22, 2006 ( – Reports of huge labour camps, summary executions of civilian detainees, of gruesome experiments with chemical weapons on prisoners – including children – and myriad other human rights violations have been seeping out of the reclusive North Korean communist state for some time. Now a defector who fled to South Korea last year says that among the atrocities is the killing of disabled infants.

Reuters reports that Ri Kwang-chol told a panel at a human rights forum, “There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,” and the reason, he says, is the widespread practice of infanticide sanctioned by the state.

Kwang-chol spoke at a meeting of the New Right Union, a conservative civic organization that assists North Korean refugees. The Union is urging the South Korean government to take a stronger stand against the brutal communist regime in light of increasing reports of human rights atrocities.

Refugees who have escaped from North Korean labour camps commonly report that infanticide is used as a way to deal with the children of raped prisoners and women forced into sexual slavery and prostitution.

Another defector, Kim Young-sun, 67, said of the South Korean government that they should “stop trying to avoid upsetting Kim Jong-il,” the North Korean dictator.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a pro-abortion organization, says that The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, (DPRK) is among the world’s most repressive regimes. HRW says Human rights violations include arbitrary arrests, pervasive use of torture, and lack of due process and fair trials, remain of grave concern. There is no organized political opposition, labour activism, or independent civil society. There is no freedom of information or freedom of religion.

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 the DPRK.

“Continued violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women, in particular the trafficking of women for prostitution or forced marriage, ethnically motivated forced abortions, including by labour inducing injection or natural delivery, as well as infanticide of children of repatriated mothers, including in police detention centres and labour training camps.”

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