Under the rule of Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains among the world’s most repressive countries. All basic freedoms have been severely restricted under the Kim family’s political dynasty. A 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry found that abuses in North Korea were without parallel in the contemporary world. They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.
The living condition of North Korean men became harder as the society became poorer. It was easier for women to survive by selling goods in markets, by selling their bodies or by depending on their husbands. But once men fell into hard situations, women did not have other ways to survive. When these men hit the streets to try to look for ways to survive, Chinese human traffickers targeted them, offering work in lumber yards or mines. In reality, these men were sent to either mines or lumber yards and got paid very little. To the Chinese, North Korean men were cheaper to manage.