The head of a U.N. commission investigating human rights in North Korea says evidence points to "large-scale patterns of systematic and gross human rights violations" in that country.
Michael Kirby told reporters in New York Tuesday that testimony from witnesses and survivors was so shocking it moved commission members to tears. The commission had more than 200 interviews with victims, witnesses and experts during visits to South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Britain.
Torture, sexual violence, the denial of food, arbitrary detention, the abduction of foreigners, the return of refugees to certain imprisonment were just some of the grave human rights abuses detailed by the commission for the United Nations.
Kirby, an Australian judge with 35 years of experience, said the commission also obtained satellite images that show at least four political prison camps in North Korea are fully operational.
Pyongyang has condemned the U.N. human rights inquiry and called the witnesses "liars."