UK
02/10/2013 11:55 BST | Updated 02/10/2013 11:55 BST

North Korea Celebrates Elderly People With Special Games Day (VIDEO)

North Korea has celebrated elderly people with a special games day.

Stretched over several days, the country's International Day of Older Persons kicked off with a massive volleyball competition for pensioners.

Atate news agency KCNA reported events included tournaments in cards and Janggi (Korean chess) and dancing on the streets.

The cheerful images contrast wildly to reports issued by the UN Human Rights Council a fortnight ago, when a panel of investigators who'd interviewed former prisoners reported that those who survived North Korean jails suffered "unspeakable atrocities" – including a woman forced to drown her own baby.

north korean prison

A female North Korean soldier looks out from behind a barbed-wire fence surrounding one of the prison camps

Many North Koreans are continuing to suffer in sub-human conditions, human rights groups have warned, with defectors revealing entire families can be sent to die at the camps for "crimes against the state".

However, the secretive state has repeatedly denied that it abuses human rights and has blocked access to investigators in a refusal to recognise the Commission.