North Korea marks Kim Jong-il birthday
North Korean people bow down before Kim Jong-il's statueReuters file photo

As the UN prepares to release a report on human rights abuses in North Korea, CNN has released an account of a pregnant woman's horrendous ordeal at one of the country's largest prison camps.

A defected survivor told the news network that, when a starving woman gave birth to a baby in the camp, the baby's cries disturbed a security agent who beat the woman mercilessly.

She begged him to keep the baby, but the guard continued to beat her. She was eventually forced to drown her baby, forcing it into the water face down and holding it beneath the surface until the cries stopped.

Another witness claimed starving young men resorted to eating worms and live snakes in a bid for survival, while another claimed that prison camp inmates would strip the clothes from dead people and wear the garments themselves.

With more and more accounts of cruetly coming to light, human rights activists are confident the UN's new report will be a watershed which will expose the true nature of North Korea's crimes.

"This may actually be the best chance we've had in a long time to raise the profile, to get more attention to the grave situation inside North Korea and to actually put pressure on the government at the UN and by other governments to make change on the ground," Roseann Rife, Research Director at Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera.

North Korea continues to deny crimes against humanity, and tries to portray that the masses are the masters of the country, where collective rights take precedence over individual rights. The hermit state believes that any charges levelled against the country are part of a US-led conspiracy.