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North Korea: Sexual violence against women ‘common’, report finds

Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers march during a mass rally on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang on September 9, 2018Image copyright
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The report calls on the country to treat sex abuse as a crime

Sexual abuse against women in North Korea is so “common” it has become part of ordinary life, a report has claimed.

Human Rights Watch based the report on interviews with 62 North Koreans who fled the country. They gave detailed accounts of rape and sexual abuse.

HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power.

One woman, who had been sexually assaulted many times, said officials considered women to be “sex toys”.

“Sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don’t know why,” Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Another woman, a former farmer in her 40s who was caught fleeing North Korea, also detailed abuse she…

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