N.Korea readies nuclear, missile sites for international inspectors

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"The North Koreans we spoke with told us that unwanted sexual contact and violence is so common that it has come to be accepted as part of ordinary life: sexual abuse by officials, and the impunity they enjoy, is linked to larger patterns of sexual abuse and impunity in the country", the report stated.

Pyongyang maintains that it protects and promotes "genuine human rights" and says there is no justification for the West to try to set rights standards for the rest of the world.

Several traders also described male officials at checkpoints conducting intrusive body searches of young women.

Sexual abuse by North Korean officials appears to be "endemic", a watchdog group reported on Thursday, as activists complain the isolated country's rights record is being ignored as an worldwide push is made to improve relations.

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth releasing the report into sexual abuse against women in North Korea.

When they are caught and repatriated, they are exposed to widespread sexual and other abuse in holding centers and prisons, according to Human Rights Watch, whose report echoed earlier findings on that issue.

A depiction of the treatment of a woman in North Korea included in the HRW report.

Lee So-yeon, a North Korean refugee who now heads the nonprofit New Korea Women's Union, said women in North Korea's military are unable to find justice after rape.

"Many North Koreans told Human Rights Watch that when an official or person in power picks a woman, she has no choice but to comply".

Of all the sexual assault survivors interviewed for the report, only one said she had tried to report it.

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However, White House lawyers expect to work with the Justice Department to develop a legal justification for the action. Lindsey Graham-who said he plans to introduce legislation to end birthright citizenship .

HRW called on North Korea to issue orders to all police, security officials, soldiers, party officials and other authorities that rape and other acts of sexual violence be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of the status of the alleged perpetrators.

She clarified that "men in power" extends to almost anyone within the system, from soldiers to guards to party officials. Numerous women who were interviewed said authorities sexually abused them as they attempted to travel across the country's border. "You find it in nearly every part of life", Daly said.

The victims are also forced to stay silent because of the social stigma attached to sexual abuse.

North Korea sent hundreds of people to the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang in February, including Kim's sister who conveyed his desire for an inter-Korean summit after tensions created by North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

But Mr Roth warned human rights were taking a back seat.

"The precise number of women and girls who experience sexual violence in North Korea, however, is unknown".

HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power.

The top court ruled that the Japanese court's decision that dismissed the victims' claims was based on the disputable premise that its 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea was legal, which is contrary to the South Korean Constitution.

President Moon, who once represented South Korean forced laborers as a lawyer in the 2000s, said after taking office past year said that the 1965 treaty can not prevent individuals from exercising their rights to receive damage compensation. "If the agreements are well carried out, it will contribute to not only the improvement of inter-Korean relations and peace settlement on the Korean peninsula, but also the improvement of human rights of North Korean people", the message said.

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