I wanted to jump for joy when I read the New York Times the other day-not something I typically feel when I read the Times, by the way. Finally, the editorial board was embracing a cause dear to my heart.
Last Tuesday, the Times threw its considerable weight behind the conclusions of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in [North Korea]. The commission’s report cites hundreds of witnesses who testified to “unspeakable atrocities.”
As the Times notes, these atrocities include “murder, enslavement, torture, rape, forced abortions and persecution on political, racial and religious grounds.” The report also describes “the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
And it gets worse. Some 120,000 political prisoners live in four large prison camps. The North Korean government uses starvation “to control and punish both in the camps and in the general population.” Witnesses told of “guards clubbing starving children to death for stealing rice.”
The North Korean Freedom Coalition also reported on the Commission’s findings, especially the fact that “the vast political and security apparatus . . . strategically uses surveillance, coercion, fear and punishment to preclude the expression of any dissent.”