People in Wonsan, North Korea. Editorial credit: Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com

North Korea

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.

An opposition demonstrator plays the violin during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. Credit: FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images.

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.