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NK Watch Briefing Session on the Suryong Dicatorship Mechanism

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Rachel Stine, “NGO releases paper solidifying links between NK’s Kim family and crimes against humanity,” Korea Times, 2023. 08. 01. https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2024/01/103_356000.html

Nonprofit organization NK Watch held a press conference, July 25, to present its new report, titled “The Suryong Dictatorship Mechanism: Who Is Ultimately Responsible for Crimes Against Humanity.” The 239-page document solidifies the links between Kim Jong-un’s regime and the brutal oppression North Korea has become infamous for.

While blaming the Kim dictatorship for the North’s state of affairs might seem obvious, there is a pressing need for such research. If members of the Kim family were to someday be brought to court, documentation would be necessary to find individuals guilty of specific crimes. Reports such as this one lay the groundwork for that day.

NK Watch’s new publication uses confidential documents, including Kim Jong-un’s “Teaching and Instructions,” to build its case.

“We need to focus on the North Korean people,” said Lee Kwan-hyung, one of the authors. “Schools have broken down (in North Korea), so indoctrination has also broken down.”

His co-author, Kwak In-su, is a former North Korean spy. “There is no civil society due to horizontal surveillance,” he said. The report emphasizes this aspect of North Korean society, arguing that it constitutes a “crucial element that enables automatic operation…of the dictatorship.”

The event was sponsored in part by the National Democratic Institute, which has ties to the U.S. government. NK Watch, however, was started by former victims of prison camps in the North. Ultimately, the group plans for a future in which human rights violators are held to account.