Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 28 August 2014


As in previous years, it is not known if new mine or explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties occurred in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 2013. The ICRC reported that one mine/ERW survivor received a prosthesis in 2013.[1]

Since 1999, the Monitor recorded one mine incident in December 2002: a North Korean soldier involved in construction work in the demilitarized zone lost a foot in a landmine explosion.[2] It is likely that other incidents went unreported.

Victim Assistance

North Korea has no victim assistance coordination. The Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled coordinates disability issues, including advising on state policies relating to disability, developing regulations for special education and vocational training, and managing physical rehabilitation centers.[3]

In 2013, the ICRC continued to provide materials and training to the Rakrang Physical Rehabilitation Center in Pyongyang and supported the renovation of the center.[4] It also worked with the Ministry of Health to improve orthopedic surgery in four hospitals, an increase from three in 2012.[5] Handicap International (HI) also continued efforts to improve physical rehabilitation services by improving facilities, providing supplies, and training staff at several hospitals and rehabilitation centers.[6]

The law mandates equal access for persons with disabilities to public services. However, implementing regulations for the law had not been passed by the end of 2013 and persons with disabilities still face discrimination and lack of care due to a limited number of facilities and trained doctors.[7]

As of August 2014, North Korea had not signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


[1] ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 325.

[2] ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2004).

[3] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014.

[4] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014.

[5] Ibid.; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 324.

[6]HI, “DPR Korea,” accessed 31 August 2013.

[7] United States Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.