Now as readers will know Justice Gareth Morgan recently toured North Korea, and his findings included:
- it was fantastic
- The country is beautiful
- The country is just fantastic, the farms are perfect. They have no pollution.
- huge pride in their personal space
- those they witnessed were not malnourished or lacking in necessities in clothing or shelter
- poor, yes, but wonderfully engaged, well-dressed, fully employed and well informed
- what North Korea has achieved economically despite its lack of access to international money has been magnificent.
So how does that contrast with what Justice Kirby has been hearing from actual North Koreans who escaped:
“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.