The Soldiers of Songbun: Militarization, Human Rights Abuse and Childhood Experiences of North Korean Youth


  • Peter Steele



North Korea is an enigma. The United Nations (UN) states that it is “”¦without parallel in the contemporary world ”¦” in terms of abuse, exploitation and lack of civil rights. No other rogue state commands the attention and mystique as the isolated nation of the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Despite an increasingly prevalent international front, including warming relations with South Korea and the threat of nuclear weapons, everyday citizens remain hidden. Public displays of Olympic cheerleaders or the admittance of “K-Pop” stars across the Korean Demilitarization Zone (DMZ) distract from the widespread human rights abuses and public indoctrination that is second nature in the country. But this is no surprise; In the DPRK, the leader is above all else. While marginalized groups in other countries may be granted a voice by international organizations, the vulnerable in North Korea are obscured in the shadow of the great leader‘s actions.






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