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UN reveals rights abuse at thriving markets in North Korea

May 28, 2019

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.N. report says North Koreans working in hundreds of capitalistic-style markets are often abused and forced to engage in bribery to survive.

The U.N. Human Rights Office said in a report released Tuesday that a failed public distribution system in North Korea has led to the rise of market activities over the past two decades.

But it says a lack of adequate reforms and an uncertain legal environment at these markets mean that many people face a host of human rights violations and must use bribes to avoid arrest, detention and abuse.

It says its report is based on 214 firsthand accounts of North Koreans who resettled in South Korea.

The report says people in North Korea “are trapped in a vicious cycle.”

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