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Issues & Insights Vol. 16, No. 7 – The Juche factor: North Korea’s political ideology and human rights reform

At the United Nations’ 25th session in February 2014, the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“the Commission”) issued two reports that documented its findings on human rights abuses in North Korea and presented recommendations to address these atrocities. The Commission stated that the crimes against humanity committed within the state are the direct result of official government policies. Subsequent proposals following this claim stem from the Commission’s belief that these offenses will cease upon the implementation of Western democratic governance that will improve the quality of life for the North Korean people. Despite the Commission’s well-intended guidance, their appeals fall short as they underappreciate the state’s leading ideology, Juche Sasang.