North Korea Engages in Forced Abortions, Infanticides Bush Report Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

North Korea Engages in Forced Abortions, Infanticides Bush Report Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 1, 2005

Pyongyang, North Korea ( — Like the Chinese government, officials in North Korea practice a regime of forced abortion and infanticides, according to a human rights report released Monday by the Bush administration.

Written by the State Department, the report says, "The [government of North Korea’s] human rights record remained extremely poor, and it continued to commit numerous serious abuses."

It cites instances of forced abortion and infanticide in prisons and detention centers.

"Prison conditions were harsh and life-threatening, and torture reportedly was common," the report explained. "Pregnant female prisoners reportedly underwent forced abortions, and in other cases babies reportedly were killed upon birth in prisons."

"Defectors have reported that government officials prohibit live births in prison," the Bush administration report details.

North Korea officials also torture women from China who are fleeing that Asian nation to escape its coercive one-child policy that has resulted in similar forced abortions, forced sterilizations and imprisonment.

The report said prison officials force mothers recently repatriated from China to watch the infanticide of their newly born infants.

"According to defectors who were imprisoned in the 1990s, in cases of live birth, the child was immediately killed," the State Department report revealed. "[T]he reason given for this policy was to prevent the birth of half-Chinese children."

The North Korean government also engages in severe discrimination against people with disabilities.

"Apart from veterans with disabilities, persons with disabilities were almost never seen within the city limits of Pyongyang, and several defectors and other former residents reported that persons with disabilities routinely were relocated to rural areas," the report said.

Despite extensive accounts of abuses, in July 2001, a North Korean delegate reporting to the U.N. Human Rights Committee dismissed reports of human rights violations in the country as the propaganda of "egoistic" and "hostile forces" seeking to undermine the sovereignty of the country.

The North Korean government did not permit inspection of prisons by human rights monitors for the report.

North Korea "has ignored requests for visits by international human rights organizations, and none were known to have visited since 1996," the report said.

Related web sites:
State Department Report on North Korea –