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North Korea 'purges the disabled because they humiliate the regime'

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes the military’s winter training earlier this month. A defector has claimed that his regime routinely ‘cleanses’ the population of disabled people by making them disappear and subjecting them to horrific medical experiments because they are a ‘humiliation’ to the regime.

North Korea is systematically purging its disabled population by making them disappear from public sight, subjecting them to chemical weapons tests and castrating them, defectors claimed today.

Ji Seong-ho, 32, who escaped after he himself suffered horrific treatment after losing a leg and hand, said the Kim Jong-un’s regime felt ‘humiliated’ by them.

He claims babies with mental and physical disabilities are routinely snatched from hospitals and left to suffer ‘indescribable things’ until they die.

Two other defectors also told him of a village in a remote mountain region that had been effectively turned into an asylum to house people with dwarfism.

Mr Ji, who is researching a book on the abuse of North Korea’s disabled population, said: ‘They were forbidden to leave.

‘The men were castrated so they would become extinct. There’s no-one left there by now.’

North Koreans stage a protest in support of the regime’s statement against a UN resolution on human rights.

Another defector told of a government programme where disabled people are reportedly sent for medical experiments such as ‘dissection of body parts’ and ‘tests of biological and chemical weapons.’

Im Cheon-yong, a former officer in North Korea’s special forces, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The regime wants to do this “legally” so they offer to buy disabled children from their parents.

‘If that doesn’t work, they threaten them.’

Mr Im said he defected in the 1990s after witnessing chemical and biological weapons tests on disabled children and adults.

Mr Ji said he lost his left leg above the knee and his left hand at the wrist after being run over by a train while scavenging for coal at the age of 14.

He was dumped in a wheelbarrow by railway staff and taken to hospital, where he was forced to undergo two amputations without anaesthetic.

After he was discharged, he crossed into China to beg for food, but was arrested when he returned.

During his interrogation, he said officers were furious that he had ‘hurt the dignity’ of former leader Kim Jong-il.

He finally defected in 2006 and later helped his mother, brother and sister to do the same, however, his father caught and died in prison after being tortured.

The claims of North Korea’s disabled ‘cleansing’ comes two weeks after the UN pushed the Security Council to take its leaders to the International Criminal Court for an indictment on crimes against humanity.

The resolution, drafted by both Japan and the European Union, states that North Korea’s human rights abuses are ‘without parallel in the contemporary world.’

However, Pyongyang struck back by describing the United States as a ‘a tundra of human rights’ following the countrywide protests over the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson.


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