North Korea is a one-party state led by a dynastic totalitarian dictatorship. Surveillance is pervasive, arbitrary arrests and detention are common, and punishments for political offenses are severe. The state maintains a system of camps for political prisoners where torture, forced labor, starvation, and other atrocities take place. While some social and economic changes have been observed in recent years, including a growth in small-scale private business activity, human rights violations are still widespread, grave, and systematic.
Freedom in the World — North Korea Country Report
North Korea is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.
- 2019 North Korea Country Report
- 2020 Country Report—Coming Soon!
Would a Nuclear Accord Change Much Inside North Korea? opens in new tab
August 15, 2019
North Korea’s Gulag Cannot Be Ignored opens in new tab
June 21, 2018
Freedom House Welcomes Senate Passage of North Korea Sanctions opens in new tab
February 10, 2016
Letter to U.N. Security Council Members: Hold Formal Session on North Korea opens in new tab
Testimony and remarks
October 29, 2015
Freedom of the Press 2015: Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline opens in new tab
April 28, 2015
Freedom in the World 2015: Freedom declines for ninth year opens in new tab
January 27, 2015