An HRNK Interview with Robert Collins, Author of Pyongyang Republic:
North Korea's Capital of Human Rights Denial
"The deplorable human rights condition of North Korea has a direct impact on their military. They have a million man army that can’t be composed of everybody in the country that is on the positive side of the political classification system—songbun. Many, if not close to half, are recruits—those that receive a denial of human rights through their entire life because they have been classified, socially and politically, as enemies of the state. Therefore, they have grown up with inadequate food, poor education, poor housing, and the opportunities that they receive in the military are very, very limited. Those in the lower songbun classifications can’t become officers. The few that do can’t go past the company grade. And even up until a few years ago, many of the individuals in the North Korean military that were regarded as low songbun—low trust on the political scale—weren’t even allowed to carry weapons because they didn’t trust them."