A new report reveals nightmarish details about forced abortions and infanticide in North Korean labor camps.
Human rights abuses are rampant in the Asian country, but, this week, Fox News drew attention to the horrors that pregnant women and babies are enduring in the oppressive regime.
“These [women] are treated like an animal and have been put through forced abortions and it is done in many ways,” Kim Dong-hyun, journalist and former Air Force officer for the Republic of Korea, told Fox News. “This is inhumane and a serious problem.”
(Warning: Graphic content) The gruesome details are reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags. Reports out of North Korea indicate that pregnant women have been jabbed with hot irons, forced to lay on the ground while their stomachs are crushed with a board, poisoned and kicked in the stomach to kill their unborn babies, according to the report.
“Pregnant women can be made to lie on the ground. Then [guards] put a long and wide piece of wood on her stomach. They pick two people for the job. These two people could be the son of the woman, her husband or lover, or any relative. These men stand on top of the wooden board like a see-saw,” Kim said.
“Using a burning iron is another method. The punisher carries a long piece of metal and lets it burn until red or yellow, then puts it into the pregnant woman. A woman can die from this punishment, and often, if she survives, she cannot walk properly,” Kim continued.
Others who give birth are sometimes forced to watch as prison guards smother or drown their newborns, said Olivia Enos with The Heritage Foundation.
Here’s more from the report:
Rape in the work camps is also a major problem and often lead to forced abortions. Babies conceived through rape, often by soldiers, are often aborted because sex is impermissible in the camps, therefore, the thinking goes, any child that might arise from such an encounter must be eliminated.
Harry Kazianis, Senior Director of the Center for the National Interest and a North Korea expert, also underscored that guards regularly rape women locked in concentration camps, jails or just detention centers who’ve committed only petty crimes.
“Where this gets really barbaric is if the woman hides the pregnancy and wants to keep the baby – punishment is swift and heinous. If she is discovered, I have been told of accounts where the woman is killed as well as the baby,” he said. “I have also been told of accounts where the woman is tied to a tree, the baby is cut out of her stomach, shown the child before its throat is slit and then she is executed or left to bleed to death.”
Human rights advocates say China – where forced abortions also occur – is aiding in the abuse by returning female refugees who cross its borders back to North Korea for forced abortions, according to the report.
Enos urged the United States and other countries in the United Nations to hold North Korea and China accountable for these atrocities.
“Forced abortions are prevalent in China due to the one-child, now two-child, policy. Family decisions are a personal, private matter, yet both China and North Korea insert themselves into those personal decisions when they institute draconian family planning policies and carry out forced abortions,” she said. “They should be held accountable for these serious human rights violations.”
She said The Heritage Foundation wants the U.S. and UN to be more vocal in condemning forced abortions.
One UN agency has been accused repeatedly of being complicit in the forced abortions and other population control measures in China. In 2017, the Trump administration stopped funding United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, because of its links to forced abortions and sterilizations in China.