& # 39; If you follow the instructions, you die of hunger & # 39 ;: the reality of life in North Korea revealed in the UN report that 40% of the population is hungry
- The UN Office for Human Rights has issued a damning report on poverty in the country
- Millions of North Koreans struggle to eat after the socialist food system collapsed
- Hundreds of markets were created, but the authorities deducted money from the sellers
North Koreans are often abused and forced to resort to bribery to survive, according to a UN report released Tuesday.
According to a report from the UN human rights agency, as many as 40 percent of the country is hungry after the collapse of socialist systems to provide them with food.
Millions of citizens are currently working in hundreds of thriving markets that emerged with the failure of the country's public system for distributing basic goods.
North Korean farmers are planting rice seedlings in a field. UN agencies have recently warned that North Korea is becoming more hungry after last year's harvest had fallen
North Korea is officially socialist, but has overlooked some market activities since the public ration system collapsed during an economic crisis and devastating famine in the mid-1990s.
Poor state reform measures and a broadly drafted penal code mean that civil servants are able to extort money and other favors from people working in the informal markets by taking advantage of the threat of arrest and detention.
& # 39; People in (North Korea) are trapped in a vicious circle, in which the inability of the state to provide for the basic needs of life forces them to switch to rudimentary markets where they are confronted with a large number of human rights violations in an uncertain legal environment, & # 39; the UN office said in a separate press release.
The UN office said the report is based on 214 first signatures of North Koreans who have escaped from their home country and have relocated to South Korea.
It says that a majority of those interviewed left North Korea after the current leader Kim Jong Un took over power at the end of 2011.
The UN office said it has no access to North Korea to independently investigate its human rights.
Kim Jong-un has denied widespread poverty in North Korea, despite the collapse of the socialist systems many relied on for food
North Korea is extremely sensitive to external criticism of its register of rights and calls it a provocation aimed at defaming its government, which has been led by the same family for about 70 years.
After the public distribution system broke down, North Korea took steps to legalize and regulate some of its booming markets.
The steps include charging rental prices for stalls, controlling prices and monitoring which products are available on the market.
The government steps are not deeply rooted and contain insufficient measures to address market activities, which, according to the report, allow officials to use laws to manage the socialist economy to criminalize a wide range of commercial activities.
It also said that there is a lack of the rule of law and fair guarantees in North Korea and that a legal system legitimizes human rights violations.
A local resident who sells vegetables on the grounds of a cooperative farm that supplies fresh vegetables to Pyongyang
& # 39; The report finds that this threat of arbitrary arrests and hard consequences that follow provides powerful tools for government officials to obtain bribes from a vulnerable population who want to detect the existence of rudimentary market activity, & # 39; Daniel Collinge, a UN human rights organization. officer, told reporters in Seoul.
& # 39; The financial hardships of the struggling population are thereby exacerbated by money being systematically enforced to support state officials. & # 39;
According to the report, North Korean officials are increasingly using bribery to support their low or non-existent salaries.
Some North Korean refugees said they were working in markets after paying bribes and freeing themselves from their state-run companies, who are struggling to work, the report said.
& # 39; The state can no longer supply the materials to factories or distribute the goods produced, so they trust people like me to perform these functions & # 39 ;, said the report from a former North Korean, one of his interviewees.
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