Hundreds Of North Korean Officials Caught Committing Crimes Against Humanity

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The South Korean government has identified hundreds of North Korean officials involved in human rights violations, a local lawmaker revealed Monday.

The North Korean Human Rights Documentation Office, an affiliate of the South Korean Ministry of Justice, has identified 245 offenders since the organization was founded late last year, South Korean lawmaker Yoon Sang-jick introduced, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Most of the offenders are linked to North Korea’s secret police — Ministry of State Security and Ministry of People’s Security. The suspected criminals are accused of torturing and brutalizing citizens, sexually assaulting women, and forcing women to get abortions.

“Their suspicions not only include harsh acts including assault on citizens and torture but also anti-humanitarian contents including sexual assault and compulsory abortion,” Yoon said, according to NK News. In one troubling instance, according to testimony to investigators, a North Korean woman who was eight months pregnant was given a forced abortion at a prison facility after repatriation.

Information on human rights violations is provided by defectors, as well as other sources.

“The government plans to build a database of the relevant information by the end of this year, and this is expected to be evidence that [Seoul] will hold them criminally liable after unification,” the lawmaker added, commenting that this is the “first time” the South Korean government has “directly” monitored and tracked state violence in North Korea.

The number of identified officials believed to have been involved in crimes against humanity is expected to rise, as more cases are being brought in for further investigation.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions last week on ten North Korean officials linked to human rights violations in North Korea, one of the world’s worst offenders. The targeted North Korean officials are connected to incidents of “extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, as well as rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence,” according to the Department of State.

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