The Horror within the North Korean Concentration Camps

Deep within North Korean borders lies a dark secret, and only within the past couple of years has this story come to light. This secret is the North Korean concentration camp system, which is no longer concealed from public view after the aid of satellite photos of the prisons and interviews with escaped inmates and former guards. Although there is no longer a debate as to whether or not these clandestine prisons exist, what goes on in these camps is the bigger mystery. What we know is that these camps exist to incarcerate political prisoners. Much like Stalin and Hitler, Kim Jong-un is trying to systematically eliminate every single person who disagrees with him publicly.

An illustration of a survivor’s account of conditions in a North Korean concentration camp. Image by Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

Within the past month, multiple news reports have surfaced claiming that Kim Jong-un sent a pack of dogs to attack and kill his uncle. While the authenticity of that specific story is under question, there is no doubt that death by mauling could be used as a punishment in this secretive country, judging from North Korea’s appalling prison camp conditions. People are born into these camps and die in the camps, and inmates are routinely tortured, raped, and killed.

Those who do escape share stories that are filled with horrors. Shin Dong-Hyuk, one of the lucky people who was able to flee the oppression of the concentration camps, is the first known escapee who is known to have been born into the North Korean prison system. In his account, Shin claimed that after spending the first several of years of his life as a political prisoner, he had grown accustomed to punishment, until one day when he overheard his mother and brother plotting an escape. The mentality that the horrible conditions of the camp had instilled in Shin led him to expose his mother’s and brother’s plot so he would not be punished too harshly when it was discovered that his family had escaped. However, after apprehending Shin’s family, the guards, showing no mercy, killed his mother and brother and then tortured Shin to get more information from him.

Many people would think that after hearing stories like that of Shin Dong-Hyuk, the world would take action against these injustices. But so far, no action has been taken against North Korea for these crimes against humanity, and only recently has an official UN inquiry been launched. The choice that needs to be made is obvious, and that choice is immediate and swift action. If the world knew about the horrors of Hitler’s concentration camps during World War II, efforts would have been made sooner by the Allies to rescue Jews who were being held captive by the Nazis. The North Korean prison camps rival the Nazi concentration camps in that they both have a common goal of wiping out a certain group of people. Any moves that will be taken by the UN in the coming weeks and months will be a clear indicator of just how much we humans care about justice. Until these camps are eradicated and their prisoners are liberated, the world is guilty of allowing a very dark evil to exist among us.



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  4. TheRealDoctorEvil says:

    The International community must take a firm stance on North Korea, if a confrontation with North Korea happens it is without little doubt that invading forces would find conditions in camps like Yodok not at all different from when Soviet Forces liberated Auschwitz. it is disgraceful that North Korea is allowed to continue this barbaric system of state murder, I’ve never advocated for war but the forced collapse of North Korea is necessary to stop the crimes of Kim Jong-un and his accomplises from evading responsibility and justice, the people of North Korea deserve a better future and should find any kind of way to rise up against Kim Jong-un and gain freedom by overthrowing his government and work with China and the west to reach an agreement both parties can accept.

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