Please click on this link for the photo gallery from this event.
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) launched the 130-page report, Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korean Police State, on July 19 at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI).
Authored by North Korean leadership specialist Ken E. Gause, Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment reveals that the Kim family created a pervasive state security apparatus to consolidate power, relying on constant surveillance and a network of informants to root out threats to the regime from the smallest neighborhoods to the highest levels of the military.
The report rollout, moderated by Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, also featured remarks by discussants Chuck Downs, former HRNK Executive Director, Helen-Louise Hunter, HRNK Board Member, and Kim Kwang-jin, HRNK Non-Resident Fellow.
Ken Gause, the report author, is a senior research analyst with CNA Strategic Studies’ International Affairs Group and Iranian Studies Program. He oversees CNA’s work on foreign leadership studies and is expert on leadership issues concerning North Korea. Mr. Gause began his career as a leadership analyst with the U.S. government, posted for three years in Moscow. Since the mid-1980s, he has worked for a number of defense-related think tanks, where he has strived to push the boundaries of leadership analysis. Prior to joining CNA in 1999, Gause was Director of Research for Keesing’s Worldwide Directory of Defense Authorities. Mr. Gause holds a B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Vanderbilt University, and earned an M.A. in Soviet and East European Affairs from George Washington University.
Chuck Downs was HRNK Executive Director from 2008 to 2011 and Board member from 2001 to 2008. He authored Over the Line: North Korea’s Negotiating Strategy while serving as Associate Director of the Asian Studies Program at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Downs served for most of his career in the Pentagon, as Deputy Director for Regional Affairs and Congressional Relations in the Pentagon’s East Asia Office. Mr. Downs was also Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor to the House Policy Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives. As a Senior Fellow at the National Institute for Public Policy he chaired the North Korea Working Group, providing policy recommendations to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Downs graduated with honors in political science from Williams College in 1972.
Helen-Louise Hunter, member of HRNK’s Board and Executive Committee, is an attorney who has engaged in private practice with a large international law firm in Washington, D.C., and has served as Permanent Law Clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. For more than 20 years, she was a Far East specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency. In the late 1970s, she served as the Assistant National Intelligence Officer for the Far East. She is the author of Kim Il-song’s North Korea (1999).
Kim Kwang-jin is a North Korean defector and former DPRK international finance agent. An HRNK non-resident fellow, Mr. Kim is currently a resident senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) in Seoul, South Korea and HRNK non-resident fellow. Mr. Kim is an invaluable experienced resource shedding light into the darkest corners of the North Korean regime’s secret and illegal international financial operations. His revelations have saved re-insurance companies tens of millions of dollars and brought an end to an important method the corrupt regime employed to earn from foreign sources the funds it needed to maintain its internal oppression. Mr. Kim holds an MBA in Finance and Insurance from Kookmin University (Seoul, 2012), a Masters in Economics/IT of North Korea at the University of North Korean Studies (Seoul, 2008), a Degree in British Literature from Kim Il-sung University (Pyongyang, 1989), and a Degree in English from the Pyongyang Foreign Language Institute (1984). Working for the North Korean regime, Mr. Kim served as Singapore Representative of North East Asia Bank (2002-2003); an agent of the Korean Foreign Insurance Company and North East Asia Bank, Pyongyang, (2000–2002); a manager of the Foreign Trade Bank of DPRK (1999), and Professor of the Pyongyang Computer College (1991–1997). He has produced a number of publications on the North Korean economy and the current power transition in North Korea, including two HRNK reports.
In Illicit: North Korea’s Evolving Operations to Earn Hard Currency, Sheena Chestnut Greitens provides a detailed and thoroughly researched account of the role of illicit activities in the North Korean economy. A central conclusion of Chestnut Greitens’ analysis is that in the context of eroding state control over the licit aspects of the economy, illicit activities are also being “privatized” by North Korea’s elite. As HRNK Co-chair and for
David Hawk interprets reports of changes in North Korea's political prison camps in his most recent report, North Korea's Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps. Please view the press release here.
The newest version of Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korea Police State by Ken Gause, updated on May 24, 2013.
For this report, DigitalGlobe Analytics examined eleven images collected from 2003 to 2013 of the North Korean political prison facility known as Camp 25 (a.k.a. Kwan-liso No. 25, Political Prison Facility No. 25, No. 25 Chongjin Political Concentration Camp, Susŏng Correctional Center) in Susŏng-dong, Ch’ŏngjin-si, Hamgyŏng-bukto, on the northeast coast of the nation. In this analysis, imagery was compared to identify changes in the organization of the camp, including variations in:
As a follow-up to the October 2012 joint HRNK- DigitalGlobe imagery analysis of North Korea’s Camp 22 (Kwan-li-so No. 22, Korean People’s Security Guard Unit 2209), DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center was asked to assist in identifying reported activity in and around Camp 22 in Hamgyŏng-bukto. More specifically, the Analysis Center was to examine: The outer perimeter fence, guard towers and guard positions to determine if some, or all, have been razed. The
During late September 2012, the North Korean activist community began reporting that the notorious political penal labor facility Camp 22 had been closed in early 2012. On October 1, 2012, in response to these reports and in partnership with the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center initiated an imagery analysis of Camp 22.
The North Korean government assigns a “songbun” status to every citizen at birth based on the perceived political loyalty of his or her family going back generations. While a small, politically loyal class in North Korea is entitled to extensive privileges, the vast majority of citizens are relegated to a permanent lower status and then discriminated against for reasons they cannot control or change.
Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.
TAKEN! provides an in-depth and comprehensive history and analysis of North Korea’s state-sponsored policy of abducting citizens of other countries. This criminal enterprise dates back to the earliest days of the regime, and to policy decisions made by Kim II-sung himself. Those abducted came from widely diverse backgrounds, numerous nationalities, both genders, and all ages, and were taken from placs as far away as London, Copenhagen, Zagreb, Beirut, Hong Kong, and China, in addition to Japan.
This report calls the world’s attention to the suffering of North Korean women who have become the victims of trafficking and forced marriages after escaping their country to seek a new life in China. Seventy-seven interviews with North Korean women living in China yield 52 personal accounts--life stories of women who leave their home country for survival and safety only to be purchased by Chinese men who abuse and exploit them in China. In spite of finding places to live, North Korean women ent
North Korea today is in a state of power transition that could lead to new dangers, instability, and uncertainty. This was not the case during the first succession. Kim Jong-Il had been carefully groomed by his father to succeed him. The process had gone on for twenty years and was directed by Kim Il-Sung himself. In North Korea, all political power derives from Kim Il-Sung’s reign. At the present, North Korea refers to itself as “Kim Il-Sung’s nati
This report is part of HRNK’s “Occasional Papers,” expressing a viewpoint not necessarily representative of the Committee or its Board of Directors. Rather, this paper is written from the viewpoint of a courageous man who has seen the North Korean system from within and has participated in the workings of that system. The author knows how outcomes are produced in North Korea and which individuals are critical to the political process. Kim Kwang-jin provides an overview of the North K
This report is a sequel to the previous report, “Failure to Protect: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in North Korea” (2006), which called for the UN Security Council to take action. The report identifies concerns with respect to human rights in North Korea. While North Korea has opened up to some international aid, their food policy and inequitable social classification system (“Songbun”) prevents large segments of the population from ever receiving food provided by i
For over sixty years, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has engaged in the systematic, flagrant violation of nearly every human right recognized and protected by international law. This handbook describes the options available to human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to pursue international legal action against North Korea. The international legal system offers a variety of avenues for action, which NGOs can pursue. This report explores such legal avenues, linking NG
Czech Republic President Havel, Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik, and Nobel Peace Prize Laurate and Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel commissioned the global law firm DLA Piper LLP to work with the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, because they believed that the security threat posed by North Korea has relegated the human rights concerns in the country to a second-class status. With the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of the doctrine that each state has a “resp
Concentration on the strategic problem in the national security context is clearly warranted, yet there is another, growing dimension to the North Korean problem that poses a grave challenge: the plight of ordinary North Koreans who are denied even the most basic human rights, and those who risk their lives to escape the world’s worst nightmare, the tyranny of the Kim Jong-il regime. In this report, six experts – Stephen Haggard, Marcus Noland, Yoonok Chang, Joshua Kurlantzick, Jana Mason,