Pregnant woman
A North Korea defector revealed she was forced to have an abortion in a police station after she was repatriated from China. Pixabay

A North Korea defector described horrifying experiences of forcibly repatriated women and revealed how she was forced to have an abortion after she was sent back to the country from China.

Speaking at the event titled “The Terrifying experience of forcibly Repatriated North Korean women, ” on Monday, Ji Hyeon A described a scene of prison dogs eating dead bodies at her prison camp and pleaded for the world to take action.

The event was organized to shed light on North Korea’s gross human rights violations committed against the country’s asylum seekers, particularly women, and was hosted by nations including the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Japan at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

According to a concept note released by the UN, Hyeon A experienced multiple forced repatriations and detentions in North Korea before escaping to South Korea eventually. She was repatriated three times to North Korea after she was caught in China and described how women who got pregnant in the neighboring country were compelled to undergo abortions.

“Pregnant women were forced into harsh labor all day,” she said, speaking through a translator. "Because North Korea dies not allow for mixed ethnicities, they make women who have become pregnant in China to miscarry by forcing them into harsh labor.

“At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers.”

At one detention center, she described how inmates were starved to death. Their dead bodies, she said, were given to the guard dogs for food. Hyeon A also described how she was brutally beaten during her stay at the detention centers and she witnessed other detainees given raw locusts, discarded cabbage leaves, skinned frogs and rats to feed on.

When Hyeon A was caught and sent back to North Korea for a third time, she stated she was three months pregnant and described how she was forced to have an abortion without medication at a local police station.

“My first child passed away without ever seeing the world,” she said, “without any time for me to apologize.”

Hyeon A added North Korea was “a terrifying prison and the Kims are carrying out a vast massacre and it takes a miracle to survive there.”

She also lashed out at the Chinese government for sending the North Koreans who had defected to the country back to Kim Jong Un’s harsh regime and urged them to stop repatriating defectors.

Hyeon A also narrated a poem from a collection she wrote.

“I am scared, is anyone there? I’m here in hell, is anyone there? I scream and yell but no one opens the door. Is anyone there? Please listen to our moans and listen to our pain. Is anyone there? People are dying, my friend is dying. I call out again and again but why don’t you answer. Is anyone there?

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who was present at the event, said the stories of North Korean repatriates needed to be told.

“The regime is using that power to develop an unnecessary arsenal and support enormous conventional military forces that pose a grave risk to international peace and security,” she added. “Their menacing march towards nuclear weapons begins with the oppression and exploitation of ordinary North Korean people.”

“The North Korean regime's system of guilt-by-association,” she further stated, “allows for up to three generations of family members to be imprisoned along with the accused.”

Haley added that North Korea has a long list of human rights violations, top of which is its use of political prison camps, where an estimated 100,000 of its citizens are thought to be imprisoned.