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North Korea prison camp survivor awaits UN report with hope, despair

Published on Feb 16, 2014 10:57 AM
Mr Shin Dong Hyuk, a North Korean defector who has given the UN panel harrowing accounts of his life and escape from a prison camp. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - After a year of investigation, the United Nations is set to release a detailed report on human rights violations in North Korea, but defectors from the country and experts are deeply sceptical it will have any effect on the regime in Pyongyang.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea was set up last March to begin building a case for possible criminal prosecution.

Mr Michael Kirby, a former chief justice of Australia who chairs the independent inquiry, said after preliminary findings last year that inmates in North Korea's prison camps suffered "unspeakable atrocities", comparable with Nazi abuses uncovered after World War 2.

But any attempt to follow up after the final report is issued on Monday will most likely be blocked by China. North Korea itself labels any attack on its human rights record as a US-led conspiracy.

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