N. Korea state media criticized for human rights violations + forced construction labor

Yuri Kov, June 27, 2019, 9:33 a.m.

Activists here have condemned North Korean state media for boasting about appalling human rights violations in the North, especially the press-ganging of people into dangerous construction labor.

Open Radio for North Korea on Wednesday said the North's official Rodong Sinmun daily "presents serious accidents happening in extreme working conditions as exemplary labor fulfilling the orders of the supreme leader," it said.

"The most commonly cited accidents are collapses on construction sites, and eight of them appeared in the paper in March alone."

The Rodong Sinmun also reported glowingly on four- to five-year-old children forced to take part in the notorious mass games, and described them as "keeping each other's closing eyelids open with their hands." Open Radio said practice runs until late at night and deprives young children of sleep.

Other reports in the newspaper hint at extortion and abuse of children. "Most of the international section of the Rodong Sinmun is filled with extreme expressions and foul attacks on hostile countries in violation of UN prohibitions on incitements to war," the group said.

Meanwhile, North Korean propaganda outlet Meari on Wednesday condemned the South Korean government over a recent visit by Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea. "It is an unacceptable provocation against our dignity and regime, and a reckless behavior siding with the U.S.'s anti-North Korean scheme," it thundered.

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