Monday December 16, 2019
Home Lead Story UN Human Righ...

UN Human Rights Accuses North Korean Government of Starving its People While Building up Military Power

U.N. human rights spokeswoman, Marta Hurtado, says bribery in North Korea has become an essential means of survival

0
//
starving, military power
FILE - A man stands among sacks of wheat on the banks of Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, January 29, 2014. VOA

The U.N. human rights office has accused the North Korean government of starving its people while building up its military power. It finds people are trapped in a system of endemic corruption and repression, which keeps them mired in lifelong poverty and deprivation.

The report is based on first-hand accounts of more than 200 escapees interviewed in South Korea during the past two years. Witnesses say North Korea’s social and economic system is based on the pervasive practice of bribing officials. U.N. human rights spokeswoman, Marta Hurtado, says bribery in North Korea has become an essential means of survival.

“The constant threat of arrest and prosecution provides State officials with a powerful means to extort money and other favors from people desperate to avoid detention in inhumane conditions,” she said. “In addition, the living conditions and treatment of detainees can also depend on the payment of bribes.”

poverty, military power
The report finds nearly 11 million people, or more than 43 percent of the population, are undernourished and in a perpetual state of hunger. Pixabay

The report finds nearly 11 million people, or more than 43 percent of the population, are undernourished and in a perpetual state of hunger. While people are scrounging around for food and other basic necessities, the report says huge resources continue to be spent on the military.

Official figures put the percentage of the national budget allocated to the military at between 14 and 16 percent. But Hurtado says estimates by non-governmental organizations believe that sum could be as high as 50 percent.

She tells VOA her agency acknowledges the importance of U.S. talks with North Korea in efforts to try to reduce its nuclear arsenal. But she says human rights have to be at the core of these negotiations.

poverty, north korea
U.N. human rights spokeswoman, Marta Hurtado, says bribery in North Korea has become an essential means of survival. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Ghani’s Administration Gives Government Posts in Exchange of Sexual Favors, Investigate Authorities

“It is clear that all the money, all the energy, all the brains that are used to focus on nuclear issues and nuclear development, if it would be focused on raising the standard of living of the population, the situation would be a different one,” she said. The report recommends drastic reforms in the criminal code and, especially in the establishment of the rule of law in North Korea.

In assessing the findings, Human Rights Chief Michele Bachelet says people must not be arrested, detained, prosecuted or subjected to extortion. This, simply for trying to acquire an adequate standard of living. (VOA)

Next Story

Here’s how you can Appear More Competent Through your Clothing

Secret to appear more competent hidden in your clothing

0
Competent clothing
A richer clothing can help you look more competent. Lifetime Stock

People tend to instantly judge others as more competent if they come dressed in “richer” clothing, says a study that warned that such economic cues are hard to ignore.

In nine studies conducted by researchers, people rated the competence of faces wearing different upper-body clothing.

Clothing perceived as “richer” by an observer — whether it was a T-shirt, sweater, or other top — led to higher competence ratings of the person pictured than similar clothes judged as “poorer,” the researchers found.

Given that competence is often associated with social status, the findings, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, suggest that low-income individuals may face hurdles in relation to how others perceive their abilities — simply from looking at their clothing.

“Poverty is a place rife with challenges. Instead of respect for the struggle, people living in poverty face a persistent disregard and disrespect by the rest of society,” said study co-author Eldar Shafir, Professor at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University in the US.

competent fashion
Competence is often associated with social status and it is reflected through clothing. Lifetime Stock

“We found that such disrespect — clearly unfounded, since in these studies the identical face was seen as less competent when it appeared with poorer clothing — can have its beginnings in the first tenth of a second of an encounter,” Shafir said.

The researchers began with images of 50 faces, each wearing clothes rated as “richer” or “poorer” by an independent group of judges.

Based on those ratings, the researchers selected 18 black and 18 white face-clothing pairs displaying the most prominent rich-poor differences. These were then used across the nine studies.

Participants were then presented with half of the faces wearing “richer” upper-body clothing, and the other half with “poorer” clothing.

The researchers found that across the studies faces were judged as significantly more competent when the clothing was perceived as “richer.”

Also Read- Here’s how People Themselves Become the Source of Misinformation

This judgment was made almost instantaneously and also when more time was provided.

When warned that clothing had nothing to do with competence, or explicitly asked to ignore what the person in the photo was wearing, the biased competency judgments persisted. (IANS)