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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea executes lockdown violators fleeing starvation: UN

Expert says country's human rights abuses should be referred to ICC

People collect straw in preparation for winter on the North Korean island of Hwanggumpyong in the Yalu River on the border with China, in this photo taken from the Chinese side on Nov. 13, 2020.    © Kyodo

SEOUL -- Life in North Korea has never been easy, but 2020 was an especially somber year for the human rights of ordinary people in the isolated state.

Shoot to kill orders at the border, starvation caused by mass lockdowns, summary executions: these are just a few of the abuses highlighted this week by Tomas Ojea-Quintana, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur for human rights in North Korea.

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