North Korean women forced to have abortions with no anaesthesia by cruel army

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A North Korean woman has told how she was forced to have an abortion without any anaesthesia, faced sexual abuse and had starvation rations.

The defector who escaped the country, known only as Jennifer Kim, also said that female fighters in the army were forced to use soggy “foot wraps” as sanitary pads, too.

Speaking about her treatment in the closed-off communist country to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), she also claimed that she was forced to dip her hands in freezing cold water, then made to attempt to hang from an iron bar which froze onto her hands and ripped her skin off, as a punishment.

Recalling the moment a political adviser allegedly sexually assaulted her when she was called to his office aged 23, she said: “If I refuse his request, I can’t become a member of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

“If I return to society without being able to join the party, I’m perceived as a problem child and I will be stigmatised for the rest of my life.

“That means you won’t be able to get a good job and it will be a problem when you try to marry – what could I have chosen?

“In the end, I was sexually assaulted by him.”

She also claims that she was forced to survive on just three to four spoonfuls of corn per day, and was lacking in food so much that her menstrual cycle changed to having periods just once every four to six months.

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She was, however, still sexually active and had to tell a political adviser that she was pregnant.

A few days later she was ordered to go to the military medical office one evening.

“A military surgeon was already waiting for me,” she recalled.

“He performed an abortion on me without anaesthesia – it still haunts me today.

“Because of that experience, not only do I still struggle mentally, but I’m also not able to have children.

“So even now, it’s difficult for me to have a good marriage.

“The shame I felt back then still haunts me and will continue to do so.”

Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of HRNK, slammed the North Korean leadership, claiming that the mistreatment of women led “all the way to the top” of North Korean society.

He said: “The abuse the nation’s daughters in uniform suffer at the hands of the regime’s henchmen reflects the deeply-embedded and incurable pervertedness and corruption of the party.

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"It is in the entire top leadership, all the way up to the top of the chain of command.”

All women in North Korea face a stint in the army from the time they graduate school until they are 23 years old.

Forced army service for woman became law in 2015.

  • Military
  • North Korea Dprk

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