Writer : Jae-mok Koh Date : 2010-08-09 Hit : 297
The Hell on earth in NK's Gulag.

Defectors Recount Nightmare in N.Korean Camps

Tales of unimaginable suffering were at the core of testimony from former inmates of North Korea's political concentration camps at a press conference Monday.

"I ate whatever I could put into my mouth, except stones," recalled an inmate at the Yodok camp between 2000 and 2002. "Grain stock was checked every day and we were kept away from grains, so you had this extreme pain of being unable to eat them even if they were within sight," he said. "As starving inmates surreptitiously ate seeds, security guards sprayed pesticides on the seeds, so many died from eating the poisoned seeds."

The event was organized by activist group Democracy Network against North Korean Gulag at the Seoul Press Center.

Of 250 inmates he met at the camp, 80 starved to death or executed in public after being arrested for attempting to flee the Stalinist country. He himself was held on espionage charges after being caught with a Bible smuggled in from South Korea.

Women at the event wore dark glasses to conceal their identities but were unable to hide their tears. One recalled how she languished at the Kaechon political prison camp for 28 years after being taken into custody at 13 for guilt by association with a crime committed by one of her relatives. She said, "I saw a starving woman eat the flesh of her son who had died of a disease."

Another was detained at Kaechon Women's Prison for attempting to flee the North twice, in 2003 and 2005. "Once we stood in line in the hallway of a detention house where a security guard was kicking a pregnant woman," she recalled. "Some time later, this woman returned and lay bleeding with an empty womb. But nobody could do anything to help her."

Vance Hall 밴스 홀  2010/08/10 12:21:17 [Reply] modify delete
How terrible it is to hear this. But also, how important it is to tell the world. Why doesn't this appear in all the news media?
Jae-mok Koh  2010/08/10 13:56:47 [Reply] modify delete
If human, never be cruel like this even to animal. The devil group of NK's regime and the boss, a merciless tyrant, should be eliminated in this world as soon as possible by any means.
joe nawrozki  2010/08/13 18:11:45 [Reply] modify delete
Good point Vance. While the "media" sinks deeper into providing oatmeal for the brain, critical stuff lies unattended. Who cares about Lady Ga Ga or Mel Gibson. But on the North Korea situation, there have been at least two lengthy articles in The New Yorker Magazine about the situation in NK...I am pretty certain that you can somehow access them from the NYM's files. The writer approaches the stories with authority, collects many powerful personal accounts of those who fled NK and developments like the grooming of the current dictator's son for the leadership position; in fact, the son is believed to have had a heavy hand in the attack and sinking of the South Korean naval vessel.
Best,
Joe
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