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North Korea Controls Youth Through ‘Hard Labor’

By Human Rights Watch
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Click to expand Image Farmers plant rice in Rangnang district in Pyongyang, North Korea, May 25, 2021.  © 2021 Jon Chol Jin/AP  North Korea’s economy has taken a hit as the country’s borders remain sealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed appreciation to the country’s youth for “volunteering” to do hard labor to compensate for “lagging behind” or to cleanse “cultural infiltration.”   The North Korean government’s use of “hard labor” justified by ideological demands is common. The demanded labor is used for projects that Kim Jong Un has…

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