The Democratic People's Republic of Korea(North Korea) has been one of the most
repressive regimes in the world. The international community, including the United Nations,
several States including the United States and the Republic of Korea(South Korea), and nongovernmental
organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have
criticized and accused North Korea of numerous human rights violations. This paper seeks to
explore whether there has been any impact of those criticisms on North Korea either at the
macro-level (laws and policies) or micro-level (common people's lives on the ground). The paper
will discuss how international human rights laws, the international community, and global trends
have impacted North Korea by looking into three aspects of North Korea's political culture: its
legal reforms, changes in policies and diplomatic actions, and the overall quality of people's lives.
The first two will be considered at the macro-level, and the third aspect at the micro-level. The
impacts of international human rights laws and international community on North Korea will be
measured based on Risse, Ropp, and Sikkink's "Spiral Model," which involves five phases of
human rights compliance by States from "repression" to "rule-consistent behavior."
The Impact of International Human Rights Laws and the International Community on North Korea's Human Rights Situation.
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