The Lookout

Report: N. Korean officials executed in staged traffic accidents

Kim Jong Un salutes during a mass military parade (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service) …A new Amnesty International report paints a gruesome picture of summary executions, torture and ill-treatment in North Korea as Kim Jong Un succeeded his late father, Kim Jong Il, as the country's ruler last December.

The country used firing squads or staged traffic accidents to execute 30 officials involved in talks to unite North and South Korea, according to the 2012 Amnesty International report released Thursday. It also notes that the country had been questioned about another 37 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 for "financial crimes."

As the ruling authority shifted to Kim Jong Un, the country's State Security agency detained another 200 North Korean officials, some of whom are now feared executed or in prison camps, the report notes.

Credible reports estimated that up to 200,000 prisoners were held in horrific conditions in six sprawling political prison camps, including the notorious Yodok facility. Thousands were imprisoned in at least 180 other detention facilities. Most were imprisoned without trial or following grossly unfair trials and on the basis of forced confessions.

Men, women and children, who were kept in the prison camps,  were tortured and forced to work in dangerous conditions, according to the report. Many of the prisoners die or get sick while in custody due to the horrendous conditions, beatings, lack of medical care and unhealthy living conditions.

Meantime, the North Korean government denies the existence of the political prison camps.

[Related: North Koreans in rice belt starving to death]

Amnesty International also reports that hunger is widespread in the country, as 6 million urgently need food and the country is unable to feed its people. The country earlier this year reportedly requested its embassies to appeal for international aid. While the the European Commission has helped, the United States has not provided aid to North Korea, "reflecting concerns over the monitoring of its distribution," according to the report.

[Related: Gov't moving ahead with reactor plans]

North Koreans do not have freedom of speech, and criticism of the government and its leaders is forbidden. Few people have access to the Internet, and there are tight controls on mobile phones and phone connections, according to the report. Citizens' movement inside and out of the country are tightly monitored. People who escape to China are often returned to North Korea, where they are often detained and beaten by the government.

More popular Yahoo! News stories:

New Jersey man arrested in disappearance of Etan Patz

Most unemployed Americans attended at least some college, for the first time ever

Wisconsin military couple surprise their children at airport

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe this is the best time for you to invest in a brand new one. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options