Archive for Labour Camps

North Korea – The Concentration Camps of Death!

Posted in Government, Human Rights, Insanity, Modern World, North Korea, North Korea Labour Camps, Prison, Torture with tags , , , , , , on 09/01/2011 by floroy1942

For years, North Korea has been one of the most secretive nations on Earth, but from time to time, the veil of secrecy has been lifted by people managing successfully to escape from the tyranny that exists there. With them, they have brought tales of horror that are hard to believe in this century.

The Infamous 38th Parallel – Korean War Photo

North Korea’s troubles began directly after the Japanese were evicted from the country by their defeat at the end of World War 2. Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel by the United Nations with the North being governed by Russia, and the South by America.

Stalin wanted a system of government in the country that was sympathetic to Russia, so a totalitarian regime was installed in 1948 under Kim Il-sung, who ruled with absolute power until his death in 1994. Since then of course, his son Kim Jong-il has continued to rule with an iron fist.

Such is the unrivalled power father and son have achieved, they are cult figures within the country. It is said the ordinary people are convinced Kim Il-sung created the world and his son can control the weather, such is the depth of control they have over people’s minds. It is a perfect example of ‘brainwashing’ on an unparalleled scale.

In the aftermath of the Korean war of 1950, waged by North Korea with the explicit approval of Stalin and China, the country became more secretive, practically shutting itself off from the rest of the world. Few people have known what goes on behind the closed borders over the last fifty odd years, and many discounted the stories of atrocities that managed to leak out as unbelievable.

It is known the country suffered a catastrophic famine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which claimed the lives of an estimated 900,000 to 2 million people. This led to Kim Jong-il, who ruled by this time, to strengthen the power of the military and government and thus his own position as undisputed leader.

Rehabilitation

Anyone caught criticising him or the government, was immediately sent to one of the now famous detention camps. These centres were begun by his father Kim Il-sung, who decreed that three generations of anyone heard to utter criticism of the government or himself would be imprisoned, many for life. He considered this necessary to totally eradicate dissension, for he believed dissenting parents begot dissenting children. So for example, if your grandfather were to commit an offence leading to his imprisonment, your parents and all of their children would join him. This has resulted in large populations of children in the camps, who like the rest, are often worked to death.

The North Korean people have been indoctrinated to such an extent, that they consider it right to inform on family members and neighbours if any word against the state is uttered. In fact, if you did not, you could end up in the camps alongside the perpetrator.

The conditions in the camps have been highlighted many times by escapees who made it to South Korea. Sadly, many who escaped to China were handed back to the North Korean government where most were put to death.

From those who have been successful in gaining freedom, stories have emerged that will chill your blood.

The North Korean Detention Centres

There are five main camps, although there are more less important ones, all totally cut off from the outside world. Once inside, you can expect to work for 14 hours a day on starvation rations. Many prisoners end up there for life, although life is invariably cut short by starvation and disease. After ‘Political Re-education’, some family members may be released after three years.

Women are usually set to work making shoes or leather bags (make sure your G**** handbag was not manufactured in the DKPR), while men work on construction or in the mines. It is strictly forbidden to speak while working, and infractions are punished severely. Anyone who is considered to be working too slowly is beaten or given more arduous work.

At the end of each work shift the prisoners are subjected to ‘Self-Criticism Sessions’ in which they have to criticise themselves and fellow prisoners.

One of the punishments often favoured is to force prisoners to sit or kneel in a certain position, silent, and without moving, for hours on end. The slightest sound, twitch of a finger, hand, or the head brings with it a severe beating. When groups of prisoners are receiving the same punishment they are forced to slap and beat each other for any infringement.

Kneeling Torture

One man was made to kneel for twenty-four hours without moving a muscle. Many who suffered this punishment said the pain was indescribable, and much more painful than a beating at the hands of the guards.

Sexual contact between inmates is strictly forbidden and if a woman becomes pregnant, say perhaps from being raped by a guard, she is given an enforced abortion. Some, who manage to carry their child full term, are forced to watch while guards swing the new-born by the legs and smash its head against a wall or post.

At any time, inmates are forced to beat one of their number for a minor infraction of the rules. Major transgressions are punished by incarceration for up to a week in a box so small it is impossible to stand or sit. As with the immobility torture, I cannot even begin to imagine the muscular pain of such a thing.

The Infamous Water Torture

Water torture, which horrified the world when it was revealed the americans had used it on terrorist suspects, is a daily occurrence in North Korea, yet for this, the world stays silent.

Inmates can receive beatings with an iron rod on the fingernails or the backs of their hands at the whim of a guard. In many cases, prisoners confess to things they have not done just to put an end to the pain.

The list of atrocities committed in the camps is endless if you take the time to do a little research on the matter. It seems incredible to me that such a regime could exist in this age of enlightenment and freedom, but it does by means of its totalitarianism. In such a country, every breath you draw is courtesy of the leader and government.

With the illness of Kim Jong-il the possibility of a change of leadership draws near. There is little doubt that Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, will succeed him for he is already being groomed for the part. The West knows very little of him, but from what I have seen in all the news footage, the one thing that strikes me is I have not seen him smile once. He has the perfect poker face, and to know what is going on behind those cold eyes is impossible.

Kim Jong-un – The Heir Apparent

Many Pundits claim he will be a figurehead, and the real power will lie with the men who surround him. Whether he does gain real control of the nation and turns out to be a leader who brings his country out of the darkness, or plunges it further into hell, remains to be seen. As Kim Jong-un is the youngest son, perhaps we will see a struggle for power from the two older brothers who may feel they should have been chosen to succeed their father, but that is extremely unlikely.

Either way, the West is watching the events in North Korea closely, and only time will tell what the future holds for the down-trodden people of North Korea.

Roy.


Political Pawns

Posted in North Korea, North Korea Labour Camps with tags , , , , , on 08/06/2009 by floroy1942

After the horror of the Nazi concentration camps during WW2 no-one in their right minds could imagine something like that ever happening again, but how wrong we all are.

The Two Luckless Reporters

The arrest, and now conviction of two female US journalists to twelve years hard labour in North Korea has turned attention to the plight of all political prisoners in North Korea. The two were arrested after supposedly crossing the River Tumen, which is the border between North Korea and China, although some say they were snatched from the Chinese side. Whatever the truth is, this event has focused attention on North Korea’s prisons and labour camps

The West has for decades known about the forced labour prisons, or ‘Gulags’ as they are usually referred to, but little attention has been paid to them by anyone, despite the stories of inhumane treatment, murder and torture from escapees who have made it to freedom.

No-one really knows how many of these gulags exist, but it is estimated there are about a dozen political prisons, and some thirty forced labour camps spread throughout the desolate mountainous valleys of North Korea.

Huaenyong Prison Camp

Many have now been found and photographed from space, and some are the size of small countries. Two in particular, Haengyong and Huaong are larger than the County of Columbia in Washington State (874sq.mls-2262sq.kms). Haengyong is said to be three times the size of this state, and is surrounded by ten foot high barbed wire fences plus mines and mantraps. It even has a battery of anti-aircraft weapons to prevent the camp being liberated from the air.

The labour camps house anyone who disagrees with the regime, or has voiced even a small criticism. The previous ‘Dear Leader’ Kim il-Sung, Kim Jong-il’s father decreed that three generations of all families denounced for dissension would be sent to the camps. With the words; “Factionalists or enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations” he made it clear it was considered prudent to ‘purge’ the bad blood from society.

Anything can be classed as ‘dissension’. One former female detainee was arrested and sent to the gulags for singing a popular South Korean pop song in her home, which ‘disturbed the socialist order’.

Typical is the arrest in the middle of the night carrying nothing but the clothes on your back. There is no trial or hearing, you are shipped to an ‘interrogation’ facility where you are tortured until you confess, once that is obtained you are transferred to the political penal colony where you are issued with a pick and shovel, crude cooking utensils and an old army blanket.

Korean Work Camp Inmates

Kang Chol-Hwan, who was an inmate for ten years before being released and escaping to the South where now works for a South Korean newspaper, has related how he grew up in prison because his grandfather had once ‘made complimentary comments about Japanese capitalism’. When he arrived in the camp he was nine years old.

He tells the story of children set to digging clay and constructing a building. While they were digging it collapsed and they died. The bodies were secretly buried and the parents were not even told, even when they came looking for them. He is also quoted as saying that he saw some elderly white caucasian males who he thought could be prisoners from the 1950-1953 Korean War.

He saw people being worked to death, prisoners beaten to death, rapes, executions, and babies kicked to death. Forced abortions among the women are commonplace, where the pregnant woman’s womb is forcibly injected with salt water to kill the baby, regardless of how long the woman has been pregnant. Even at nine months! Any woman who manages to give birth to a live baby watches while the guards kick and beat the baby to death. The death of all infants is said to ‘eradicate a new generation of dissidents’.

The Dear Leader

It is compulsory for mothers to watch as their sons and daughters are executed. Many families are forced to denounce their children in public before an execution. One escapee related how a mother was coerced to say; ‘Though you are my son, you are a traitor and a puppet of the imperialist. You deserve to die.’

In March 2005 a secret video of a public execution was smuggled out of North Korea. According to witnesses, a pole was erected for the execution even before the ‘Judge’ had reached a verdict. The prisoner was carried out, both arms and legs had been broken during his interrogation, and pebbles were placed in his mouth to stop him shouting insults about the Republic before he died.

The catalogue of cruelty in North Korean labour camps is unending. People, men women and children, have been kicked so hard by guards that their bones have been exposed amid the torn flesh, at which point the guards deliberately put salt into the wounds to compound the agony and torture.

Any guard who killed an ‘escapee’ was rewarded with an opportunity to study at a college. This caused the death of numerous innocents.

Many people have reported scores of inmates being used for biological and chemical testing. One witness, a prisoner from 1987 to 1993, states she saw fifty inmates marched into an auditorium and fed a piece of boiled cabbage. Within thirty minutes they had all vomited blood and died. She said the biological warfare researchers were excited about the event and were rejoicing at the effects, which were better than they had anticipated.

Border Fence - To Keep People IN.

No-one knows how many camps or political prisoners there are, but the nearest guess estimates around 200,000 at just six that are known, and analysts have concluded from escapees stories that between 20 and 25% of prisoners die annually from the harshness of the work in the mines, factories, farms and logging sites. This is not surprising when you realise they are deliberately kept in a weak state of semi-starvation, just like the victims of the Nazi’s and Stalin.

Many of them are young children, forced to work alongside grown-ups from 06.00hrs every morning until late evening. If you do not fulfil your work quota for the day you get less food. The work was so harsh and the rations so meagre that children never grew to normal height. Malnutrition caused seventeen-year-old boys to be no more than 150 centimetres (5 feet) tall weighing forty kilos (88 pounds), sometimes less.

The high profile arrest and sentencing of the two journalists, now means the world’s attention is finally being turned to the despicable events that are an every day occurrence in these places. This is what the two young ladies have ahead of them if a deal is not agreed between the government of North Korea and the United States.

Border Guard On Patrol

Once inside the wire rape is guaranteed, as is malnutrition and beatings if things follow the normal pattern. We will have to see if that is the case for such high profile prisoners. I hope for their sake Kim Jung-il will be cautious in his dealings with them. For should they come out alive after being tortured, beaten and starved, and tell what has happened to them, the wrath of the United States will be a monumental thing.

Let us all hope intervention is swift, and forget not the unfortunates already suffering there.

Roy.

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