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North Korean Concentration Camps

Trailer of the Day: North Korean Concentration Camps

North Korea vowed on March 27, 2012 to go ahead with a rocket launch, ignoring demands from US President Barack Obama and other world leaders who are in Seoul at the moment for the Nuclear Summit 2012 on combating nuclear terrorism. During the trip of President Obama to the Nuclear Summit in South Korea, he flew by helicopter to a U.S. base on the edge of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to meet troops and get a first-hand look at one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers. While speaking to the troops he said that "the contrast between South Korea and North Korea could not be clearer, could not be starker, both in terms of freedom and in terms of prosperity."

Next to the immediate nuclear threat from North Korea to the rest of the world, the regime also operates, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, a network of concentration camps where an estimated 200,000 inmates currently languish under starvation-level rations, forced labor under brutal conditions, torture, and public execution. These concentration camps have cut down hundreds of thousands lives and counting. Moreover, approximately a million people perished during the 1990s famine due to the regime's gross and deliberate mismanagement. The World Food Programme, the United Nations food agency, reported that millions of North Koreans, especially children, are suffering from malnutrition.

Director Marc Wiese made a documentary about the story of Shin Dong Huyk, who managed to escape from a North Korean concentration camp. While at the camp, Shin endured daily beatings, torture, starvation-level rations, saw forced abortions and even witnessed the public execution of his mother and brother in 1996. Shin described his life of total isolation from the world: "In South Korea, although there is disappointment and sadness, there is also so much joy, happiness and comfort. In Kaechon, I did not even know such emotions existed. The only emotion I ever knew was fear: fear of beatings, fear of starvation, fear of torture and fear of death."

For further Information, please see:

Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2011) by Marc Wiese
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Born and Raised in a Concentration Camp an interview with Shin Dong Huyk