Annual Report: North Korea 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: North Korea 2010

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Freedom of expression and association

The government continued to impose severe restrictions on the media and to punish any form of association and expression that it deemed hostile, including religious practice. There were no known independent opposition political parties or NGOs. Local authorities continued to arrest individuals who owned unauthorized Chinese mobile phones, or sold South Korean videos.

Constitutional developments

An amended Constitution came into effect in April, making the chairman of the National Defence Commission, Kim Jong-il, North Korea's "supreme leader". Article 8 of the amended Constitution stipulated that the state should "respect and protect human rights".

International scrutiny

North Korea's human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review in December. The government continued to deny access to independent human rights monitors including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.