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December 22nd, 2011
03:31 PM ET

North Korea: Living in Fear

North Korean state media have broadcast images of a grief-stricken nation. But we wanted to find out how ordinary North Koreans feel about their nation's future. Senior International Correspondent Stan Grant found a North Korean living in the Chinese border city of Dandong who spoke frankly about what life is really like in the so-called Hermit Kingdom.

Filed under: asia • backstory • China • Interviews • journalists • North Korea • Stan Grant
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Mike Smith

    Communist China is just as brutal as their North Korean comrades regarding human rights abuse:


    Torture of detainees is endemic in Chinese detention centers and prisons. Although China became party to the UN Convention Against Torture in 1988, the government has not taken effective measures to diminish the risk of prisoners being tortured or ill-treated. Despite strong evidence of torture in several cases of death in custody, state prosecutors have refused to release autopsy results to families or to initiate investigations. In many detention centers, beatings, inadequate food and poor hygiene appear to be a routine part of the process of eliciting confessions and compliance from detainees. Such treatment is applied to ordinary prisoners as well as political detainees.
    According to prisoner reports, methods commonly used by guards include: beatings using electric batons; rubber truncheons on hands and feet; long periods in handcuffs and/or leg irons, often tightened so as to cause pain; restriction of food to starvation levels; and long periods in solitary confinement. Furthermore, corrupt authorities at detention centers, prisons and labor camps have extorted large sums of money from families of detainees for the state's provision of "daily supplies" and "medical expenses."

    Despite continuing efforts by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, PRC officials have not agreed to allow open and unannounced visits to prisoners. PRC authorities acknowledge that there are some 1.2 million prisoners and detainees in China.

    December 23, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Izabel

      Oh, and don't fgreot the death squads Not that America would engage in that kind of behavour,but sometimes we tend to look the other way if it serves our purpose,wink, wink.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amira

      Well LOLThat is great and unusual news.Detainees that WANT to stay bihned bars.Gee and I thought they were abused by the Americans.I heard the same thing a few years ago about the Prisoners in GITMO.They didnt want to go home either lolIf there is a chance to change these people's minds to not wanting to blow themselves to peices and take 20 or so people with them, on our dime, I'm willing to up the money for it 🙂

      March 26, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Smooth

        Respected Obama,Im happy to get chance to share few words on the belhaf of you. Im not going to give u comments on what is going on in America nor what is its policy about the world. I better know that once you were also colinized by so called supreior white though you r ruling the world now.It is crysta clear that in your foreign affair South Asia stands on top and to impose your policies you r gaining favor of indian Primeminister, Manmohan and sonia Gandhi and boycutting china.Because of your policy and hidden motive we Nepali are suffering here. We better know indians treatment to Nepali. India is incroaching our land and playing foul to make Nepali government unstable and there is meximum possibility of Maoists being underground and holding weapon.As you yourself has faced the trauma of being colonized and dehumanized, we request you to change Indian mindset of making Nepali government unstable and colinizing us indirectly.

        July 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Louis

    A politician not kepenig a promise? Saying something just to get votes? I'm floored! Fact is, Gitmo serves a purpose and that's why it is still open. Most of the people there are not innocents, just caught up in the post 9/11 rush to judgement. I'm sure there are innocent people there, but there are also many, many innocent US citizens in jail. You read everyday about people doing many years for crimes they didn't commit. And we've no doubt executed innocent US citizens as well. Our system is imperfect. But when it comes to Gitmo, we have to be more careful in releasing or moving these detainees . It is a fact that some who have been released went right back to terrorist acts and killed innocent people.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |