Up to 200,000 kept in North Korea's "gulag" camps: report

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Lefty Wilbury, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Up to 200,000 kept in North Korea's "gulag" camps: report

    North Korea detains up to 200,000 people in "slave" camps where torture and executions are routine and starvation is widespread, according to a report on the isolated state.

    The study by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea told how pregnant women among thousands of North Koreans repatriated from China are forced to abort their infants or watch their babies killed after birth, in case the fathers are foreign.

    "The Hidden Gulag - Exposing North Korea's Prison Camps" was compiled by David Hawk, a former UN human rights investigator, who has in the past reported on the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia and the ethnic massacres in Rwanda in the mid-1990s.

    North Korea denies it has political prisoners. But the study, based on interviews with former inmates and guards who escaped North Korea, estimated there were between 150,000 and 200,000 people in dozens of camps.

    It produced satellite photographs of the camps, and mines and industrial complexes where inmates are forced into "slave labour".

    Political inmates are detained for their perceived opposition to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il or his father Kim Il-Sung, the North's founder leader who died in 1994.

    Some were imprisoned for tipping ink on a picture of one of the two Kims or not taking care of photographs of the two that every household in the nation of 22 million people must prominently display.

    One woman's crime had been to sing a South Korean pop song. Others were ethnic Koreans who returned from Japan but were considered to have been "spoiled by their exposure to Japanese liberalism and capitalist prosperity."

    Up to three generations of the family of each offender is also detained to ensure political purification.

    The study said there was "a North Korean gulag of forced-labour colonies, camps and prisons where scores of thousands of prisoners -- some political, some convicted felons -- are worked, many to their deaths."

    The report said each camp has between 5,000 and 50,000 detainees and that "prisoners live under brutal conditions in permanent situations of deliberately contrived semi-starvation."

    The researcher also interviewed former inmates such as An Hyuk, who was interned after going to China from where he was repatriated in 1986.

    An was at the Yodok camp in South Hamgyong province where "his duties entailed breaking ice and wading waist-deep into a frozen stream to gather stones" to build an electric power station.

    The report said it was "a 'murderous' construction project, as scores died from exposure, and even more lost fingers and toes to frostbite."

    Another inmate at the same camp, Lee Young-Kuk, told how one man was "executed" by being dragged behind a car in front of all the prisoners. Other inmates then had to "place their hands on his bloodied corpse."

    A former guard, Ahn Myong-Chol, was quoted as saying that between 1,500 and 2,000 prisoners, mostly children, died each year while he was at the Haengyoung camp in North Hamgyong province.

    Ahn added that there were so many deaths from beatings "that at one point the guards were warned to be less violent."

    A second category of camps was for the thousands of people sent back from China. According to some rights groups, up to 300,000 people have crossed the border to flee starvation and repression in North Korea.

    The report said pregnant women sent back were forced to abort their infants or they were killed.

    It quoted one 66-year-old grandmother held in the border city of Sinuiju who was forced to work in a medical building for pregnant detainees.

    The woman, whose name was witheld to protect her family in North Korea, said she helped deliver seven babies "some of which were full term, some of which were injection induced abortions. All of the babies were killed."

    "A doctor explained that since North Korea was short on food, the country should not have to feed the children of foreign fathers."

    Two babies survived for two days. The grandmother told that a North Korean guard "came by, and seeing that two of the babies were not dead yet, stabbed them with forceps at a soft spot in their skulls."

    Other women told of similar killings at other camps where women who had children with ethnic Han Chinese fathers were publicly criticised.
  2. jimnyc

    jimnyc ...

    Aug 28, 2003
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    New York
    Sounds like someone is a bit full of themselves. Thats gotta be the ugliest country in the world.

    A few tacticals need to be dropped there as well. Of course we'll double our member base of liberals crying about how Kim was harmless. :rolleyes:
  3. eric

    eric Guest

    You know I'm still not sure if Kim is a man, or just a really fugly women.:p
  4. lilcountriegal

    lilcountriegal Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2003
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    I had no idea about this. This is something I've never heard of, but I can honestly say reading this post makes me physically sick.

    I toss my vote in with Jims:

  5. dijetlo

    dijetlo Guest

    Tempting as that may be, (personaly, I preffer the old "exploding mistress" scenario for this guy. It's a classic, but the pros favor it because it works. )
    Here's the problem. He's got Soul in the crosshairs of the largest potential artillery barrage in history. This bastard will kill millions of people if he feels he personaly is threatened. Beside which, poor North Koreans are currently stocking up on tree bark so they don't starve this winter. The anarchy, not to mention fallout, will kill millions of them as well.
    Then there is China, just across the border from NK. The Chinese leadership is no fan of Kims but I doubt they'd sit idely by while were hammering the little miscreants bunkers with low yeild nuclear cruise missiles. No doubt they would act, and honey, there are a lot of chinese (thier military strategy uses the logic of a potato chip commercial--- "crunch all you want, we'll make more".)
    We might remove a threat, but at what cost? Roosevelt said " Walk softly and carry a big stick"
  6. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    here are a few articles from a few months back about condtions in these camps.


    Former guard: Ahn Myong Chol

    North Korean prison guard remembers atrocities


    Jan. 15 — Ahn Myong Chol is a former prison guard at Hoeryong-Area prison in North Korea. He worked at four different camps and discussed with NBC News what he saw — and committed — at those camps. Below is an edited account of that time, in his own words. (Editor’s note: Ahn’s descriptions are graphic and may not be suitable reading for all.)

    I WAS A driver at the Hoeryong Prison No. 22 national security defense division for eight years.

    The name of the prison: No. 22 Hoeryong prison. Official name No. 2 district company prison, called National Security Defense Division No. 22 Hoeryong Prison.

    I worked at four places. Three of them have closed. One still exists. I worked No. 22 Hoeryong Prison starting from May ’87 until September ’94. I started to work the age of 19. I was late two years because I engaged in the army service after college. Normally we join the army at the age of 17.

    Officially it’s not a soldier, not military, it’s national guard. But the training is the same as the military.

    At first, for three years, I was in charge of watching the barbed wire fences, often at nighttime. Sometimes like an ambush, to keep the prisoners from escaping. After that I became a driver, and I delivered foodstuffs to the guard post.

    At first I felt it was a movie film studio for the propaganda of North Korea, speaking ill of South Korean government. But actually the officer who brought me to the prison instructed me not to speak and not to smile. I was instructed if there is a prisoner who tries to escape or fight me, then I was allowed to kill him.

    They call prisoners “re-settlers.” They called the prison the managing office for the “re-settlers,” and they call the prisoners non-guilty persons.

    At first, in 1959, this camp was inaugurated by the doctrine of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, and expulsion, escaping and riot happened in this camp. Once someone is imprisoned here, it is so horrible that might think he is already dead if he is not loyal to Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung.

    They trained me not to treat the prisoners as human beings. If someone is against socialism, if someone tries to escape from prison, then kill him. If there’s a record of killing any escapee, then the guard will be entitled to study in the college. Because of that, some guards kill innocent people. Beating and killing is an everyday affair.

    They are not treated as human beings; they are just like dogs or pigs.

    There is no instruction how to beat them, but the officers tell us to beat or kill the re-settlers without responsibility. Therefore, when someone is working in the field, the guard tells the prisoner to come over here, if the prisoner comes slowly, then it can be a cause of beating.

    In the training, such as tae kwan do, and when someone is working in the field, we call the prisoner under the pretext of actual war training. And I have beaten one humpback person. This is usual to beat prisoners.

    The guard system is so strict there are few escapees, and sometimes we need to find out a way to be, get away from our guard’s life in the prison. And we try to find a pretext in order to go to college. One of my colleagues tried to make a prisoner escape by climbing the barbed wire fence, and then he shot him, and he went to college.

    There is detention center inside the prison camp. That is for the people who cannot fulfill his job during the day. At first stage, they don’t give him food. If he repeats it three times, he’ll be punished, to go to the detention center. In three months he will of course die. The work is divided into morning job and afternoon job.

    There’s wooden poles, square pole, and they twist the legs under the knee with the squared wooden pole, and then if this continues for three months, the blood doesn’t circulate. And if someone destroys fixtures or furniture, then he’ll be punished.

    Or another — one team is composed of five persons, and they go to the coal mine or field to work, and if any one person of them is late or escapes from the group, they’ll all be punished. There are two watchmen/supervisors, and if watchman fears someone would like to escape or if there’s anything abnormal, then the prisoner will be punished.

    I saw numerous prisoners killed, especially by beating. I saw one person age between 40 and 50 — he’s old enough because the average age of prisoner is between 40-50 — he was working in brick factory. And as he was older he was moving slowly, he was not working well. And the team master tramped on his loin, and the bone was broken. He was hit by an iron rod that is used to start vehicle engines, and I heard the next day he died.

    Sometimes I used to drink alcohol together and chat together with the people in the division of torture, and when the officer in the division is in a good mood, the prisoners will be treated mildly. And when he had an argument with his wife at home, then the torture will be severe. And I heard many times that eyeballs were taken out by beating. And I saw that by beating the person, the muscle was damaged and the bone was exposed, outside, and they put salt on the wounded part. At the beginning I was frightened when I witnessed it, but it was repeated again and again, so my feelings were paralyzed.

    As a human it was really heartbreaking. After the Gulf War, there were tunnels digging nationwide. This prison was engaged in tunnel digging. And I was in charge of the pig farm.

    At that time the tunnel was passing near the pig pen of the camp, and about 500 political prisoners were participating and there was one female named Han Jin Duk, 26 years old. I was in charge of giving food to the pigs. And my supervisor, when he saw the woman, she was beautiful. And he raped her, and he was found by the watchman officer. And he was investigated. My superior, his rank was reduced and the woman was sent to the detention center And then I didn’t see her for one year.

    One day I was going to the place to load the coal, I met her. And I noticed she was exactly that woman, and I asked her, how you could survive. And she told me, that yes, I survived. But she showed me her body, and it was all burned by fire.

    After six months I met her at the corn storage in Kusan district and found her putting on a used tire on her knees because her legs were cut off. Because of a coal mine wagon ran over her knees. And all she could do now was separate the corn grains from the cob.

    The reason why she was forced to go to the prison is her father’s elder brother was purged at the Anbyon, Kanwhan Do province. She went when she was 5 years old. All of the family members were imprisoned. Her mother starved to death, and her brother also starved to death in the prison. I met her at age 26. So it means she was in the prison for 21 years. I think she no longer is in the world.

    A food factory produced soy sauce and cookies and bean paste. And here the women worked between 20 and 30 years old. The women are the sexual slaves of the security officers, they are forced to wear only white thin gowns and no underwear, they are not given underwear. They make all the beautiful women work here.

    The prisoners go to the coal mine along this road, in carts pulled by cows. And while they are passing through here, I was instructed to beat a disabled person by my superior, and I had no choice but to obey.

    Even in the small village there is an officers headquarters, and if any prisoner disobeys, then he can be beaten here, and the officers were armed, and they would kill prisoners here.

    Not only here but all other places, even in the small hills they bury bodies. And when we cut the trees down, sometimes we find a buried body. Not only here, but all around here are buried bodies.

    In the hills here, if there is some flat area, it is covered with graves. And if people start to farm there, they find bodies or bones.

    This area is where there are the most densely buried bodies. There are graves all over here, and we can see the graves where there are no woods. There is no particular area to bury dead bodies, but they put them all in this general vicinity, and no one can cry. It is forbidden to cry, and there is no funeral ceremony, and the officers say, “The anti-revolutionary person has died, so there is no reason to cry.”

    I don’t have any unforgettable image or memory because I was not a victim. I was on the side of the attacker. So I don’t have any nightmares. However, before I came to the south, I thought it is not a humane thing, although I was used to seeing such crimes.

    One unforgettable image, there were two girls and they were trying to take out a piece of noodle from one polluted water pond where they put the garbage. And one guard kicked the kids into the small pond, and they drowned. The pond was very deep, and I felt really sad about that.

    I thought it is natural to punish or beat a guilty person. Because I was a driver, and I was a guard. But in the course of time, I had the opportunity to talk to the prisoners and found they are not guilty. And when I see the senior citizen kneel down in front of young guard, and he was treated badly, then my heart was breaking. And I thought this is not a humane thing.

    Once I beat one person while training in tae kwan do. I kicked him with my foot, but fortunately he didn’t die.

    I wished to get out of this guard job. In this prison, even if you die, you cannot get out of the prison. The prisoners are imprisoned not because of their own guilt but by distant relatives, other family members imprisoned as well.

    This is the type of horrible politics of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. If the people are not loyal to these father and son Kims, they have to die there.

    In a brainwashing prison or police prison, people can be set free when the prison term is finished, but in the political prison, there is no prison term. Such a system shouldn’t exist in the world. Yes, there are still such prisons. How many exist in North Korea, I don’t know. But prisons belong to national security defense division. Once it was criticized by Amnesty International; they criticized Pyonyang Songwori prison in 1990 or 1991.

    And they merged a couple of prison camps. The first is Kaechon 14 and Hannam 15. And Hoeryong 22 and Hasung 16 and Chongjin 25. In order to merge the prisons, the expenses are tremendous. For example, to take out barbed wire fences and carrying prisoners it took six months in order to close one prison. The expenses for moving materials and fixtures and furnitures and exploding the facilities are tremendous. However, in the future no more merging will happen. Now five prisons are left, and there is no way to close any more prisons. Because the government authority is now (closing) returning the prisoners to society.

    The number 12, 13 and 25 — those prisons were side by side. In the vicinity, the land was very fertile. Because the prisoners cultivated it, farmed it. But after the closing of 12 and 13, those areas became devastated.

    The economic portion of the contribution Hambuk province is about 40 percent of foodstuffs, such as corn. And they produce coal as well for the coal-burning electricity power plant in Chongjin, and therefore if they close more prisons the people will starve.

    Most North Koreans know there are prisons like this, that’s why they are loyal to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

    We had to be very careful in expressing even one word. We shouldn’t be critical, and we have the system of self-criticism or self-judgment hour. First we read Kim Il Sung doctrine, then we criticize ourselves for the work we’ve done in the past week. In this case, I have to say the “great leader Kim Il Song” or “great leader Kim Jong Il.” And if I don’t say “great leader,” then I’ll be punished. So I have to behave. Otherwise all of my family numbers will be put in prison.

    My way of thinking was changed. While I was starting as a driver, before I took it as natural, and after a while I thought this is not the right way. So I was already changed before coming to the south. I didn’t change my way of thinking here in South Korea, in order to buy people’s hearts.

    Because of Kim Jong Il and his subordinates and a small portion of citizens, the total nation of 20 million people are suffering such hardships. And the people are now changing to think that this regime is not right one. But they cannot speak out, because of Kim Jong Il’s atrocities.
  7. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Child prisoner: Kang Chol Hwan

    North Korean imprisoned at age 10 for grandparents’ dissent


    Jan. 15 — Kang Chol Hwan is a former child prisoner at Yeoduk Prison in North Korea. He currently works as a newspaper reporter in Seoul, South Korea, for Chosun Daily. He recently published his memoirs and testified about his experiences before the U.S. Congress. He also spoke with NBC News about his time at Yeoduk. Below is an edited account of that discussion, in his own words. (Editor’s note: Kang’s descriptions are graphic and may not be suitable reading for all.)

    I WAS in a political prison in Yeoduk-gun, Hankyongnamto province. Officially the disguising name is DPRK guard division No. 15.

    I became a prisoner in August ’77 because suddenly my grandfather disappeared. And later he was tried, and he was a traitor of the people.

    I was 10 years old at the time.

    At the time I was 10, and my younger brother was 7. The reason why we were imprisoned was my grandfather and grandmother were residents in Japan. And then they went to go to North Korea because they were officers in the pro-North Korean association in Japan. And they were treated nicely at the beginning of their living in Pyongyang, and they were offered good apartment. And my grandfather was purged politically and disappeared. And because of my grandfather, all the family members were forced to go to the prisoners camp.

    In North Korea, the prisoners camps are divided into two parts, economic prisoners camp and political prisoners camp. Also they are divided into two types. One is camps, the other is prison. The prisoners with light crimes are in the camps. And prison is for the serious criminals, because they cannot put all of them into prisons, because there are numerous people. Hundred of thousands of people do forced labor just like the camp in Russia before.

    Among the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il instructions, I heard of it from Ahn Myong Chol that political prisoners should have three generations eradicated. This is in order to eradicate the seed of revolt. And the political prisoners, they should give up hope of being treated as human beings.

    There are camps for the light criminals. In this case there’s the hope to be set free. I was among them. And I was set free. The other part of the district, once they are imprisoned, they have no hope to be set free, ever.

    The national security and defense division officers and soldiers when they call the prisoners they don’t call them by name, but insulting words like “you son of a bitch.”

    When I was 10 years old, we were put to work digging clay and constructing a building. And there were dozens of kids, and while digging the ground, it collapsed, and they died. And the bodies were crushed flat. And they buried the kids secretly, without showing their parents, even though the parents came. They shouldn’t force the children to work again, but they did. Even though at that moment they could notice the bleeding and dead kids. The kids were crying. It was the first atrocity I witnessed.

    And most of the people died because of malnutrition. I saw such cases many times, malnutrition. It was really a miserable scene. And once I saw a public execution by rifle.

    Once there were two soldiers who were successful in escaping, and one person was captured by the Chinese security and one person captured while running. They were hanged. And thousands of prisoners were made to form one line and passed by the hanged person and threw stones at the dead body, shouting, “Let’s get rid of the people’s traitor.” And because of throwing so many stones by thousands of prisoners, the faces and muscles were all torn up.

    Some women with weak heart, they didn’t obey and didn’t throw the stone. Then the officers condemned them, saying your ideology is doubtful. And beat them. Those were the most miserable images.

    Normally there are cases of execution in public, several times a year.
    Before the execution they were tortured. They were not given food, and the joints of bones are separated, and the bones are exposed, sticking out of skin. And they become light enough to carry by hand after torture and starvation.

    Sometimes in North Korea they pull out the teeth and put the stone inside the mouth. And the prisoner took out the stone, saying, “God damn!” and the security officer, they put stone inside the mouth again.

    The most unforgettable images I have is when one of my close friend’s sister died in the wintertime. It was very cold, and we couldn’t dig the ground deeply, because it was frozen, and bury her. When spring came, the ground thawed, and the dead body floated up. I cannot forget that miserable scene. And the other one is when I watched a very close friend starve to death.

    I had to work even though I was malnourished. Because I could eat only corn and salt, I had no strength and I suffered diarrhea, and I was almost incapable of working. And they beat me. It is a terrible memory. But I could overcome it by making incredible efforts to survive.

    Because of the malnutrition, I had to catch rats and snakes to survive. I couldn’t do the work properly, so I had a hard time.

    Before I didn’t know about the North Korean system. When I was imprisoned, I learned why Kim Jong Il dictatorship system is the worse one.

    Others in the camp have scars and physical problems, but fortunately I was young and came to the south while I was young. I have no particular wounds on my body. And I was also fortunate in the prison camp not to be beaten severely. Therefore, I have no particular scars. Some of my friends, their height is under 60 centimeters, but I was fortunate, I was imprisoned at age 10 and set free at 20, and after getting out of the prison camp, I grew about 10 centimeters annually.

    So far I don’t feel anything bad physically. Although sometimes I feel tired, because if someone is faced with the extreme circumstance, one can be adapted to the surroundings, just like Robinson Crusoe.

    The first time when I came to South Korea, I was so skinny, but 10 years went by in South Korea, I became normal.

    It is unbelievable fact that the Jews camps in the era of Nazis and the camps under Stalin regime and I could watch the film “Papillon.” And when I tell the story to the people, then they say there’s no evidence. This is comparable to the facts that German soldiers under the Nazi regime they said there is no evidence. It’s the same thing.

    If all of the prisoners in the prisoners camp were killed, then they will realize it, and Kim Jong Il regime there is little hope to set the prisoners free. And I have impression that Kim Jong Il will kill all the prisoners for the fear of exposure of his crime.

    These phenomena are inhuman. It’s like they experience in Kosovo. But those became international issues. But North Korea’s prisoners camps was not exposed as an international issue so far. The reason why is they don’t know, because the society is closed tightly, and there is no hope. And this issue should be exposed internationally. The international society should counter this matter seriously.

    The North Korean regime can be maintained because of the existence of prisoners camps. With a policy of horror, they can maintain the system.

    Suddenly some of my friends disappeared, and they were imprisoned in prisoners camp. All the people know this fact. Once they are imprisoned, they know they can be killed. So I believe if the prisoners camps disappear in North Korea, it means the North Korean regime will change. I believe opening Shineuiju district will not really change the regime, but closing all the prisoners camps will be a sign of change.

    If you ask 100 people in North Korea if they know of existence of prisoners camp, all of them, they will say yes. That’s why they are afraid of it and this open fact. In North Korea, they cannot say freely — they should refrain from speaking out.

    Kim Il Song was born in the year of mouse. And one person said mouse can bring food from outside. And then it was called disgracing the great leader. And if someone treats the Kim Il Song portrait not properly, it is also subject to punishment. And listening to South Korean broadcasting or defecting — that is also subject to punishment.

    In North Korea there are hundreds of thousands of prisoners, and they are doing forced labor, and using this labor power they manufacture goods to export and to maintain the national security division. So it means killing two birds with one stone — make money and keep the regime. So maintaining the prisoners camp is the best and only way to keep the regime. I believe the system keeps the regime alive.
  8. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    read the bold warning before you read the rest of this article

    part 1


    A survivor: Soon Ok Lee

    7 years of torture in N. Korean prison camp

    Jan. 15 — Soon Ok Lee is a former prisoner at Kaechon Prison in North Korea. She recently published her memoirs and testified about her experiences before the U.S. Congress. She also spoke with NBC News about her time at Kaechon. Below is an edited account of that discussion, in her own words. (Editor’s note: Soon’s descriptions are graphic and may not be suitable reading for all.)

    I WAS imprisoned for seven years at the political brainwashing camp Kaechon in Pyungbuk province.… I was in prison from 1987 till January 1993. I was imprisoned at the age of 39.

    I worked at the chief product supply office, I was the general manager of the product supply office, in North Korea we were supplying food and materials to people. And I was imprisoned because the North Korean economy was in recession and the supply of materials was not in good condition, that’s why I was imprisoned.

    In Kaechon Prison, there were more than 6,000 prisoners. All of them were political prisoners, and they were treated just like beasts.

    And the guards of the prison told the prisoners, “You are not human beings. You must think that you are beasts; otherwise you will not survive.”

    Not all the prisoners were ideologically against the government — they were just miserable because of the lack of food, and when they uttered one word of complaint, they were considered to have a problem ideologically.

    Among 7,000 prisoners there were about 2,000 housewives who had children at home, and after one month of my life in prison, I saw them publicly executed.

    I was crying out, calling my children’s name. And I saw one young housewife who had children age 5 and 7. I saw she was forced to come to the prison, and she shouted “I have children but I’ve been imprisoned, and my husband was imprisoned, and now the children will starve at home.” And I saw her executed, in public, in front of 6,000 prisoners.

    When I was in prison I was treated with no regard to my motherhood. Under the regime of Kim Jong Il’s dictatorship. I was fastened to an iron pole, fastened at my bosom and stomach and legs.

    There were six executioners with three bullets each. They would shoot a total of 18 shots to the heart. That is inhuman. I was so sad, and I was so stunned to see that young woman executed although we are not war prisoners and we are not enemies, but they executed a mother of children, just like that.

    In the prison there were many Christians. And since the Korean War — in Korea they call it June 25 War — the No. 1 enemy is God. Kim II Sung hated God most.

    Between 1956 and ’63 many Christians were imprisoned, and the rest of their families were imprisoned in another separate prison for families.

    In the Kaechon Prison, I believed in God, and I was kicked by the guards, and I had to work in the ironworks factory.

    That type of work is done under a high temperature, and my spine started to shrink. And my height became 120-130 centimeters. And I was treated just like an animal. My back became curved like a soccer ball, and the distance between my heart and stomach narrowed, and my shoulders, the bones stuck out. And I looked like a strange animal.

    I felt like I had two heads because my shoulder bone protruded so much. I felt I had become an alien, not a human being in this world. I was just like a beast. I was treated just like an animal, just like a slave.

    I was beaten with a leather strap 10 centimeters wide and 1.5 meters long. And I was kicked with boots. And I became just like a strange animal in shape.

    I experienced this atrocity during my prisoner’s life, for seven years I got only 100 grams of corn for every meal. I had no other food. Not even once. The corn cake, 100 grams, that is the size of one choco-pie. And they gave me one small cup of saltwater. If someone does not fulfill his daily duty, then the portion will be only half — 50 grams.

    I was merely a prisoner under the dictatorship. Under this dictatorship we cannot say anything and we cannot smile, and we cannot show tears, we cannot walk freely, and we were forced to go to the toilet only three times a day.

    I cannot believe I could survive under such tight control, even controlling my physical functions and under the pressure of rifles and knives.

    During my stay in Kaechon Prison most of the 6,000 prisoners were struggling to survive, and they were not political prisoners. They uttered a word, like this: “Why do we have to starve? If Kim Jong Il, the leader, is there, why do we have to starve?” Such a complaining word made us get put in prison.

    I witnessed public executions. I felt that this is not a country to live in; it is a human being’s hell on earth.

    And I was really shocked when Kim II Sung was alive, he tried to manufacture biochemical weapons and testing not on animals but with human beings because our enemy is not an animal, but a human being.

    This was Kim Jong Il’s instruction. And they tested them on the prisoners instead of animals. I saw so many poor victims. Hundreds of people became victims of biochemical testing.

    I was imprisoned in 1987, and during the years of 1988 through ’93, when I was released, I saw the research supervisors — they were enjoying the effect of biochemical weapons, effective beyond their expectations — they were saying they were successful.

    Recalling that scene, I still cannot rid myself of nightmares. You can see my face shrank like this, and I’m really so sad. My face shrank, and I was tortured on account of what I have not done. And the left side of my face is like this.… The left side of my face is deformed like this and cannot recover.

    In this prison there were 6,000 prisoners, and there are a total of 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea (starts to cry). How can there can be so many political prisoners under a regime where we cannot express our own thoughts? So it is nonsense. It is nonsense to have so many political prisoners. So I would appreciate it if you understand that there are so many political prisoners in North Korea. Living on this side, I see many people are happy and free and free to take care of their children as they like, give them clothes and food

    In the meantime when I recall my prisoner’s life in the north, there were over 2,000 housewives and pregnant women. And there is a law for the political prisoners not to continue generations, for three generations. To stop the generations. So they were forced to abort their children. They put salty water into the pregnant women’s womb with a large syringe, in order to kill the baby, even when the woman was eight months or nine months pregnant (crying). And then, from time to time there a living infant is delivered, and then if someone delivers a live infant, then the guards kick the bloody baby and kill it (crying). And I saw an infant who was crying with pain (crying).

    I have to express this in words that I witnessed such an inhumane hell (crying). I was captured in October ’86, and I was imprisoned in ’87 and in May 1988. I cannot forget about this. The guards kicked me with their boots, and I was forced to do work that I never had done before.

    Once they picked out 50 persons from our group, and they put them in the auditorium and gave them a piece of boiled Korean cabbage, and then as soon as they ate it, blood came out from their mouth and anus. And they died. I saw that in 20 or 30 minutes they died like this in that place.

    Looking at that scene, I lost my mind. Was this reality or a nightmare? And then I screamed and was sent out of the auditorium. It was biochemical testing, using just a bit, the substance just 1/10,000. I cannot forget that image. I wonder how a human being can kill another healthy human being like that.

    During 1990, ’91, ’92, they treated the Christians more strictly. They were moved to a separate working place. At that time, 30 prisoners were kicked to death by the guards’ boots. Two guards did it. And when they cried to the Lord, “My Lord, my Lord,” then those people had boiling water poured on them. And they became carbons. There is no other hell like North Korea.

    We experienced malnutrition, and when we reached the third degree of malnutrition, the worst condition, when we drank water or ate bread, it came out through the anus immediately.

    In the prison there were rats, they are manufacturing leather goods and leatherwear, so there are many rats. When we could catch rats, we thought it was a fortunate day.

    If we were found catching rats, we were put in a separate solitary cell. When we caught a rat, we didn’t cook it. We just ate it.

    When we eat one piece of bread and cup of salty water and pass one year like this, the human loses the sense of taste, whether it is salty or fishy or whatever. So we can … could eat live rats. Without having any taste.

    I have headaches from time to time because I was kicked in the head. And my eyesight still hasn’t recovered. And my shoulder is curved. Both sides of shoulders are not even.

    And I was tortured with water. And I was in water, and I had to drink water. I had to lie down and drink water, then when my stomach was full of water they stamped down on my stomach making the water level and my body level even and then the water came out of my mouth and anus. And they tramped until the water level and my body level was even.

    And my breastbone, backbone and my legs are not in normal condition. Physical side effects after the torture in North Korea was too much until now. In the south I could get a stomach operation but still I am suffering from pains, because of the water torture.

    When they do the water torture, they use a specially designed 10-liter kettle. They put the mouth of the kettle into the prisoner’s mouth, then automatically the throat is opened. At that time I had a scar here on my face, by that tenure. Still you can see a bit here. And they hung me from the ceiling, two hands together and then beat me. Because of the heavy weight of my body, when I was hung, I have a wound on my wrists and the flesh removed, because of the handcuffs

    The left side of my shoulder protrudes in a lump, the bone protrudes upward. And this side is hollowed because they tramped on me here.

    He most painful moment for me at the time was the torture. I was captured by them in my office, without knowing the reason. They told me I was responsible for the non-supply of food to the people, although it was not my responsibility but the responsibility of the leader.

    And they tortured me in order to get a “yes” from me, that it is my responsibility. While they were torturing me, sometimes for a couple of days, I lost consciousness, and when I came to, I saw I had a wound on my back and the large flies defecated on the bloody part and then sometimes maggots.

    My heart was breaking because my only son and my beloved husband, they have no relationship to my imprisonment, but they had to go to a forced labor camp. And this type of system exists only in North Korea, nowhere else in the world.

    At the time my only child was a university student, at Kim Il Sung University. And my husband was a school principal. And they had to work in the forced labor camp, and still I feel very bad because I was born in North Korea, and my husband passed away under such circumstances.
  9. Lefty Wilbury

    Lefty Wilbury Active Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    part 2 of the same article. same warning applys here

    My father was in a high-ranking position in North Korea, and myself I was graduate of the university, and I was a member of the labor party, and I didn’t suffer from anything before. That’s why I was not strong enough to have patience to experience severe pain. So in the prison I had to experience such pain, and it is just a miracle that I was freed from such circumstances.

    Now it has changed, totally changed 180 degrees. Right now I feel that I don’t have to worry. I feel like I died and was reborn.

    Right now I hope the day comes sooner when the 23 million North Koreans can be set free. I feel a physical threat from North Korea.

    Kim Jong Il is an inhuman person. And I experience such atrocities, and I make it public, so Kim Jong Il may wish to kill me hundreds of times. Therefore I feel threatened. At the cost of my life I don’t worry. That’s why I have such courage.

    I think the rest of the world’s people should know about such atrocities in North Korea. Where there are no human rights — this exists only in North Korea.

    So far almost no one has survived of those who were imprisoned there. There were a couple of them who survived from the family prison. But in the prison like mine, I’m the only person who survived. It is a secret.

    And the facts should be known by the United States Congress and the government, and the United Nations, they should make Kim Jong Il set the prisoners free. By all the people’s voice as one, I sincerely request this.

    When I was there, there were 24 prison camps. After that, myself, my son and Kang Chol Van and Ahn Hyol and Ahn Nyung Chol and some other people made the facts known to the public, including the U.N., and I think Kim Jong Il took it seriously, and now the number is reduced to half. However, the number of prisoners are 200,000-plus, and other types of prisons 200,000 — total 400,000 prisoners are in the prisons.

    Now I don’t know how many persons are put into the prisons and how many prisoners are killed at this moment. But North Korea, they have a plan to put people into prison, the schedule the number of prisoners every year. That is not because they are guilty but because they need the manufacture of products by the prisoners.

    All the North Koreans know there are prisons, and even 3-year-old kids know there are prisons, and when they cry, if they are told, “You will be sent to a prison camp,” then they stop crying.

    They are always very cautious to express their opinion, even one word because they don’t know when they will be captured and imprisoned if they say the wrong thing.

    I have a scar on the left corner of my eye because of the torture, and my teeth were broken. This left side of my face is paralyzed.

    They tramped on me so strongly that my teeth were broken and my eyeball came out. And I put it back in the socket again and massaged it by hand for a couple of days. And it was swollen. And see this dent — I find it after recovering consciousness so I don’t know what happened, but I must have been poked or stabbed with something
  10. FORD

    FORD Guest

    LEFTY Willbury? ;)

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