The racist comments on Obama “was an adequate reaction against the one who insulted and defamed PRNK (People’s Republic of North Korea)”, a spokesperson for the external affairs ministry said in comments carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency.
The North Korean spokesman criticised the US president for calling North Korea an “isolated state” that “condemns its citizens to hunger” by having a “reckless and irresponsible government” during his last visit to Seoul in late April.
According to the Pyongyang spokesperson, it was an “unpardonable insult against the people of PRNK who are leading a happy life under the benevolent socialist system”.
ahhh North Korea :
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
- Total $40 billion
- Per capita $1,800
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
- Total $12.4 billion
- Per capita $506
The average salary was about $47 per month in 2004. The average official salary in 2011 was equivalent to $2 per month while the actual monthly income seems to be around $15 because most North Koreans earn money in illegal small businesses: trade, subsistence farming, and handicrafts. The illegal economy is dominated by women because men have to attend their places of official work even though most of the factories are non-functioning. It is estimated that in the early 2000s, the average North Korean family drew some 80% of its income from small businesses that are legal in market economies but illegal in North Korea
Poor? yes. Benevolent?
According to Human Rights Watch, free religious activities no longer exist in North Korea, as the government sponsors religious groups only to create an illusion of religious freedom.
Today, four state-sanctioned churches exist, which freedom of religion advocates say are showcases for foreigners. Official government statistics report that there are 10,000 Protestants and 4,000 Roman Catholics in North Korea.
According to a ranking published by Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted Christians, North Korea is currently the country with the most severe persecution of Christians in the world. Open Doors estimates that 50,000-70,000 Christians are detained in North Korean prison camps. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International also have expressed concerns about religious persecution in North Korea.
The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked it as the lowest country in the Democracy Index. Amnesty International Human Rights Watch and the UN’s commission on human rights in North Korea report of severe restrictions on human rights and crimes against humanity ‘without parallel in the modern world’. The government rejects these claims
North Korea is the model for everything that is wrong with humanity. That statement, while broad - is also correct. As they crawl their way around the edges of modern humanity, excerpting racism, oppression, crimes against humanity, starvation, concentration camps, and threaten world peace, the rest of us simply do not seem to understand how to effectively manage a state directly out of the 12th century.
Testimonies from former guards and former inmates of Yodok have revealed that prisoners are frequently subjected to torture, forced labour and execution.
Family members of those suspected of crimes are also sent to Yodok - a system of “guilt by association” used to silence dissent and control the population through fear.
In January 2012, at least 31 North Koreans who had been detained in China were reportedly forcibly returned to North Korea. These people could be sent to political prison camps where they are at risk of torture, forced labour, or execution.
North Korean authorities refuse to acknowledge the existence of these political prison camps.
Amnesty International activists around the world have been signing petitions and writing appeals to the North Korean authorities, urging them to close Yodok and other political prison camps.
“North Korea’s authorities must acknowledge these camps exist - they must close Yodok political prison camp, and stop these appalling, systematic human rights abuses,” said Narayan.
The United Nations Human Rights Council [UNHRC] has presented North Korea with 268 recommendations to improve human rights in the country, 185 of which the North has said it will consider.
The recommendations were presented in Geneva on the 6th after a Universal Periodic Review [UPR], set to be made public at the upcoming UNHRC meeting in September.
North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations So Se Pyong later slammed the move as “a work of prejudice and a misunderstanding of the Republic.”
Nevertheless, the North has agreed to review 185 of the recommendations put forth and is expected to let the council know of its decision prior to the September meeting.
Rejected recommendations include the scrapping of “guilt by association,” future cooperation with the international criminal court, the implementation of recommendations as outlined by the Commission of Inquiry into North Korean human rights, a visit to to the country by a UN human rights investigation team, the closure of the nation’s political prison camps and the abolition of discrimination based on the songbun class system.
If you are interested in reading more on NK - nknews.org is one of the best sources - their ‘defector profiles’ are highly informative ‘people on the ground’ accounts of life inside the despotic feudal state.