North Korea’s human rights record is the worst in the world and has been globally condemned. Every other day we read stories about how it treats its people, however first-hand tales of the abuses by two female defectors are going to give you chills.
A video from South Korean Digitalsoju TV shows how the regime can be especially horrific in its treatment of women.
Two women defectors who formerly served in North Korea’s military are interviewed in the video where they describe their lives in the country’s military.
The defector explained that all North Korean women and men must serve in the military for six and eleven years respectively. During her time in the military, she was fed three spoonfuls of rice at mealtimes.
Unsurprisingly, malnutrition is widespread across all sectors of North Korea. The defector said, despite being a communist country, people within the military want money and withhold or steal each other’s state-issued goods like military uniforms.
The second defector added that officers in charge of uniform and ration distribution would often use their position to force sex favours from female soldiers. “Higher-ranked officers sleeping around is quite common,” said the second woman.
But the first defector shared a much more personal story.
“I was in the early stages of malnutrition… I weighed just around 81 pounds and was about 5’2,” said the defector. “The Major General was this man who was around 45 years old and I was only 18 years old at the time,” she said. “But he tried to force himself on me.”
“So one day he tells everyone else to leave except for me. Then he abruptly tells me to take off all my clothes,” she said pretending to inspect her for malnutrition and possibly send her off to a hospital where undernourished soldiers are treated.
“So since I didn’t have much of a choice, I thought, well, it’s the Major General. Surely there’s a good reason for this. I never could have imagined he’d try something,” she said. But the Major General asks her to remove her underwear and “then out of nowhere, he comes at me,” she said.
The Major General then went on to beat her while she loudly screamed. The defector was hit so hard on the left ear, that blood came out of her right ear. She said the beating was so severe her teeth were loose afterward
“How do you think this is going to make me look?” the Major General asked her after the beating. He then instructs her to get dressed and tell no one what happened or he would “make [her] life a living hell.”
“There wasn’t really anyone I could tell or report this too,” she said. “Many other women have gone through something similar.
“I don’t know whether he’s dead or alive, but if Korea ever gets reunified, I’m going to find him and even if I can’t make him feel ten times the pain I felt, I want to at least smack him on the right side of his face the same way he did to me,” she said.
Watch the video here:
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