The head of a UN Commission of Inquiry into the place Gareth Morgan recently described as “just fantastic”—a place whose economic achievements have been “magnificent”—calls North Korea a place harbouring “unspeakable atrocities.” Retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, who has spent recent months gathering evidence in South Korea and Japan from North Korean defectors and other victims, says "testimony heard thus far points to widespread and serious violations in all areas."
He said the evidence, both sobering and heart-rending, had "given a face and voice to great human suffering."
"The commission listened to political prison camp survivors who suffered through childhoods of starvation and unspeakable atrocities, as a product of the 'guilt by association' practice, punishing other generations for a family member's perceived political views or affiliation," he said.
Among the stark testimony was that from a man imprisoned from birth, who lived on rodents, lizards and grass, and witnessed the public execution of his mother and brother; from a woman who saw a fellow inmate forced to drown her own baby in a bucket; and from a man obliged to burn the corpses of starved inmates and scatter their ashes on fields.
Mr Kirby also spotlighted torture and sexual violence, detention for watching foreign soap operas or having religious beliefs, kidnapping citizens of South Korea and Japan, massive malnutrition, and the total control by the regime's propaganda apparatus…
North Korea has claimed such testimony is slander from "human scum," but Mr Kirby shot that down.
"An ounce of evidence is worth far more than many pounds of insults and baseless attacks. So far, however, the evidence we have heard has largely pointed in one direction - and evidence to the contrary is lacking," he said.
At least Gareth didn’t call Liberty Scott “human scum” in response to the bucketload of evidence Scott dumped on him. Only ignorant, illiterate, juvenile, illogical and guilty of cowardice and peddling “prejudice disguised as knowledge.”
But he did emulate his North Korean heroes by threatening libel.