DPRK slams US report over human trafficking allegations
The report stated that the DPRK was one of many states responsible for perpetrating human trafficking - to which Pyongyang responded as blatant nonsense - and called out the US over its trafficking history.
The US Department of State issued an annual update of the Trafficking in Persons Report on Tuesday, which examines the prevalence of human trafficking worldwide and offers recommendations for countries to address it.
Four categories are defined in the classification of countries to distinguish those that take greater action against human trafficking from those that enable, facilitate or perpetuate human trafficking.
Twenty-two countries have been identified as ranking in the Tier 3 category, preceding all other categories, and the last being the "Special case" category for countries such as Libya, Yemen, and Afghanistan, three countries that suffered tremendously at the hands of US direct military interventions or proxies.
Tier 3 countries qualify as countries that do not make sufficient efforts to meet the minimum standard for abiding by the TVPA (Trafficking Victims Protection Act), and they are excluded from receiving foreign assistance from the US.
Among the Tier 3 countries are included North Korea[DPRK], Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Syria.
The report accuses Pyongyang of exploiting forced labor as "a part of an established system of political repression and a pillar of the economic system" through prisons and labor camps, mass mobilizations, and overseas work.
Pyongyang retaliated by saying in an article published on the government website that the US should place itself "on the operating table first" before meddling in other countries' affairs and hiding its own "ills."
"The U.S., which still follows its nasty human trafficking history, issues the 'Trafficking in Persons Report' every year and assesses the 'human trafficking situation' of other countries at its will is absolute nonsense and an insult to the human rights," - North Korean Foreign Ministry
The article also included discussions on the recent deaths of around 50 immigrants in a shipping container in the suburbs of San Antonio, Texas, and noted that 12.5 million Africans were forced into slavery from 1525 to 1866.
Human traffic in the US
The US is the number one consumer of paid sex worldwide. So America is driving the demand as a society.
The scale of human trafficking in the US is hard to gauge, but the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris Project since December 2007, shows a 25 percent jump in human trafficking cases from 2017 to 2018.
This includes sex and labor trafficking. Of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, 1 in 7 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.