N. Korea divides citizens into 51 groups for discrimination: report
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- The North Korean regime places every citizen in the communist nation into one of 51 categories, which serve as a tool for social and political discrimination from birth, a nonprofit organization here said Wednesday in a report.
All North Koreans are classified as "loyal," "wavering," or "hostile" at birth, based on their perceived loyalty to the regime, according to the 131-page report released by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
Titled "Marked For Life: Songbun (literally translated into components), North Korea's Social Classification System," the report says the Songbun system has been a main cause of human rights abuses.
"The Songbun policy has placed every North Korean citizen into one of 51 categories and enabled the Kim regime to prioritize or de-prioritize all social welfare, occupations, housing and food programs according to the person's assigned category," it read.
"The Songbun system leads to a society that is highly stratified as a means of social control, where every North Korean is truly 'marked for life' from birth."
The report called for Pyongyang to recognize the Songbun system as a serious violation of the most fundamental human rights.
It said North Korea should eliminate the system, which is reminiscent of the apartheid system of state-directed racial discrimination in South Africa.