human rights, exploitation, non-western countries, North Korea

How to Cite

Lee, S. M. (2019). SOCIOECONOMIC ABUSE: FROM GOVERNMENT MISHAP TO SYSTEMETIC FAILURES. Asia Proceedings of Social Sciences, 4(2), 31-33.




The tragic stories of poverty, famine, and the systematic abuse of citizens by the government in North Korea are all too common. In fact, for millions of children in North Korea today, these are recurring themes. The exploitation of underage children—forced into labor and given minimal to no payments—is common. These children are placed in vulnerable situations and exploited by the very government which should be protecting them.

            Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader, is a perfect example of how dictators often exploit citizens to maintain power, by violating human rights and suppressing freedom. Today, the world is only aware of the modernized Pyongyang, but do they really know what is behind the façade of luxury?

            The aim of this paper is to investigate the harsh reality of the exploitation taking place inside North Korea. Secondary sources are the main method of investigation, as well as information taken directly from personal testimonies given by North Korean refugees.

Compared to what has been portrayed in the mass media, the true picture of North Korea’s situation is unbearable. I was able to glean insight into the North Korean regime that has abused its powers through a cascade of systematic measures that suppress and oppress its citizens from attaining communal benefits of society. This research summarizes research goals which identifies specific ways through which North Korea has exercised its abusive power over its citizens – through child labor, “virgin school girlsâ€, state-wide propaganda, etc. While the primary focus of this article is to shed light on the prevalent abuse found inside North Korea, it also attempts to address a much broader question pertinent to general human nature: “Does human nature allow power to lead to corruption?â€


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