Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)


The term genocide implies attacks on only four groups – national, racial, ethnic and religious – enumerated in Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In terms of protection of political group, severe political persecutions targeting a certain political group would not establish a successful genocide charge in courts and international courts have rendered judgements applying crimes against humanity to such atrocities. However, it is important to consider the possibility of protecting political groups regarding the victims in the North Korean political camps were selected on political grounds and their groupness is similar to other characteristics of the protected groups. It seems plausible to convict the genocide crime in North Korean context due to the unique nature of the incidents.

This thesis is, therefore, to analyze possible accusation of genocide crime in North Korean political camps in order to bring more tangible discussions to provide justice to the detained in the camps. It aims to demonstrate the detained in the political camps may constitute a political group and the Genocide Convention should be interpreted to include them, based on the limited factual descriptions in the camps. It was impossible to conduct a direct investigation in the camp sites since the state persists to remain exclusive, however, the most reliable findings were found by national and international authorities including the United Nations. In addition to the criminal charge of crimes against humanity found by the authorities, this thesis ultimately focuses on establishing genocide charge to the inhumane atrocities in the state political camps with more flexible and individual approach to the case. Although it is too challenging to bring a new interpretation or amendment to the existing Convention, the research conducted in this thesis hopefully predicts domestic or transitional justice procedure to incorporate the genocide term in a way which this thesis suggests, for the fairness and justice in North Korea’s future.