Reporting North Korean refugees in China: The case of the U.S. Department of state human rights country reports

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The U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices is published annually since the late 1970s. Scholars have claimed that the reports have been improved in its quality by enhancing accuracy, funding, human resources, and training. This paper focuses on the U.S. Department of State's reporting practice on the North Korean refugee issues for two reasons: first, because of its substantial importance, and second, due to methodological innovation in studying human rights reporting. An in-between-country comparison of the North Korea and China country reports on the same issue of North Korean refugees shows that the reports still suffer from the weaknesses and limitations previous scholars indicated, such as inconsistency, dependence on the available and limited information, a lack of recognition of positive developments, inaccuracy, and political biases and intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-144
Number of pages28
JournalKorea Observer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1



  • China
  • Human Rights
  • North Korea
  • Refugees
  • US Department of State Human Rights Report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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