Kim Jong Un: Slavetrader

The efforts of the North Korean regime to force the suppression of The Interview, a comedy which subjects its leader to  a small dose of long-overdue mockery, have aroused the anger of many Americans, with particular umbrage being expressed by a number of leading Hollywood personalities. They are right to be mad, for certainly, as even President Obama pointed out, we cannot accept criminal attempts by foreign dictatorships to interfere with freedom of speech in our country. Yet it must also be said that there is a narcissistic quality to the current outrage over this particular crime of the North Korean government, as it has long been guilty of far worse.

North Korea is sometimes described as the world’s last remaining Stalinist regime. But this is a slander -- of Stalinism. In fact, North Korea is actually a vast -- and monstrously cruel -- slave labor plantation and human trafficking operation run for the profit and hedonistic pleasure of its morally degenerate rulers.

Here is an extract from the U.S. State Department 2009 report on human trafficking by North Korea:

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The most common form of trafficking involves North Korean women and girls subjected to involuntary servitude after willingly crossing the border into the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Many of them are from North Hamgyong province, one of the poorest provinces in the country, located near the Chinese border. Once in China, they are picked up by traffickers and sold as brides to PRC nationals, often of Korean ethnicity. In other cases, North Korean women and girls are lured out of North Korea to escape poor economic, social, and political conditions by the promise of food, jobs, and freedom, only to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitative labor arrangements once in China. North Koreans trafficked into or within the PRC are often passed from one trafficker to the next until they reach their ultimate destinations. In some cases, women and girls may be sold to traffickers by their families or acquaintances. Women sold as brides are sometimes re-abducted by the traffickers or are sold by husbands who no longer want them. In some cases, North Korean women are sold multiple times to different men by the same trafficker. Trafficking networks of Korean-Chinese and North Korean men operate in Northeast China and along the China-DPRK border, where they seek out North Korean women and girls. There are some reports that businessmen who operate along the China-DPRK border use their trade routes along the Yalu River to traffic North Korean women into China. While many women trafficked into China are sold as brides, some North Korean women in China are forced to work in the highly exploitative sex industry, including as prostitutes in brothels and in internet sex operations. Many victims of trafficking, unable to speak Chinese, are held as virtual prisoners. The illegal status of North Koreans in the PRC and other Southeast Asian countries increases their vulnerability to trafficking for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. NGOs estimate that tens of thousands of North Koreans presently live in China, more than half of whom are women; according to some estimates, over 80 percent of North Korean refugees are victims of human trafficking.

To this, the 2010 State Department report adds:

The North Korean government is directly involved in subjecting North Koreans to forced labor in prison camps. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 persons are held in detention camps in remote areas of the country; many of these prisoners were not duly convicted of a criminal offense. In prison camps, all prisoners, including children, are subject to forced labor, including logging, mining, and farming for long hours under harsh conditions. Reports indicate that political prisoners endure severe conditions, including little food or medical care, and brutal punishments; many are not expected to survive. Many prisoners fell ill or died, due to harsh labor conditions, inadequate food, beatings, lack of medical care, and unhygienic conditions.

The North Korean government recruits workers for bilateral contracts with foreign governments, including in Russia, countries in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, East and Southeast Asia, including Mongolia, and the Middle East. There are credible reports that many North Korean workers sent abroad by the regime under these contracts are subjected to forced labor, with their movement and communications constantly under surveillance and restricted by North Korean government “minders.” Credible reports state that they face threats of government reprisals against them or their relatives in North Korea if they attempt to escape or complain to outside parties. Worker salaries are deposited into accounts controlled by the North Korean government, which keeps most of the money, claiming fees for various “voluntary” contributions to government endeavors. Workers only receive a fraction of the money paid to the North Korean government for their work. Tens of thousands of North Korean workers are estimated to be employed in Russian logging camps, where they reportedly have only two days of rest per year and face punishments when they fail to meet production targets. Wages of some North Korean workers employed in Russia reportedly were withheld until the laborers returned home, in a coercive tactic by North Korean authorities to compel their labor. North Korean workers at joint ventures with foreign investors within the DPRK are employed under arrangements similar to those that apply to overseas contract workers.

It gets worse. The North Korean rulers willfully starve the nation’s entire population, using the foreign exchange they get by selling their subjects as forced labor and sex slaves abroad to buy weaponry, palaces, and a fantastic assortment of luxuries for themselves. Rations are so low that the growth of children is stunted, resulting in an average height of North Korean ten year olds being some 8 inches less than their opposite numbers in South Korea. Over the past twenty years, more than 5 percent of the general population has starved to death. Conditions are so bad that men pay government officials heavy bribes in order to be chosen to be sent to slave labor camps in Siberia. In Stalinist Russia, people feared such a fate. In North Korea today, they beg for it.