Outrageous! UN’s latest report reveals, North Koreans paying bribes to survive

News Bharati    28-May-2019

Geneva, May 28: North Korean is the most isolated country in the world. North Koreans and their hardships due to the political system are always the most discussed issue on international forums. Now, even more shockingly, UN’ latest Human Right report stated that North Koreans are paying bribes to survive in the country.

 

UN human right office said, “North Koreans are forced to pay bribes to officials to survive in their isolated country where corruption is “endemic” and repression rife”.

The report was based on, 214 interviews with North Korean “escapees”, mainly from the northeastern provinces of Ryanggang and North Hamgyong, bordering China. They were the first to be cut from the public distribution system that collapsed in 1994, leading to a famine estimated to have killed up to 1 million.

The report said officials extorted money from a population struggling to make ends meet, threatening them with detention and prosecution - particularly those working in the informal economy.

But, as always Pyongyang dismissed report with a prefix of “politically motivated for sinister purposes”.

North Korea said on this report, “Such reports are nothing more than fabrication ... as they are always based on the so-called testimonies of ‘defectors’ who provide fabricated information to earn their living or are compelled to do so under duress or enticement”.

North Korea blames the dire humanitarian situation on U.N. sanctions imposed for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006. But the report said that the military receives priority funding amid “economic mismanagement”.

“I am concerned that the constant focus on the nuclear issue continues to divert attention from the terrible state of human rights for many millions of North Koreans,” Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.

“The rights to food, health, shelter, work, freedom of movement and liberty are universal and inalienable, but in North Korea, they depend primarily on the ability of individuals to bribe State officials,” she said.

Here are so shocking facts about the UN’s report on North Korea-

  • 4 in 10 North Koreans, or 10.1 million people, are chronically short of food and further cuts to already minimal rations are expected after the worst harvest in a decade.
  • The threat of arrest, detention, and prosecution provide State officials with a powerful means of extorting money from a population struggling to survive.
  • Many North Koreans pay bribes of cash or cigarettes not to have to report to state-assigned jobs where they receive no salary, thus allowing them to earn income in rudimentary markets.
  • Bribery is “an everyday feature of people’s struggle to make ends meet, the report quoted. It also said, “The price is rights”. It denounced what it called a “vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, and repression”.
  • Others bribe border guards to cross into China, where women are vulnerable to trafficking into forced marriages or the sex trade
  • The United States called on North Korea this month to “dismantle all political prison camps” and release all political prisoners, who it said numbered between 80,000 and 120,000. North Korea denies the existence of such camps.