Friday, March 8, 2013
North Korea: New images show blurring of prison camps and villages
By Kyu Jin Lee
This article is about the recent analysis of new satellite images that shows the North Korean’s government is blurring the lines between its political prison camps and the surrounding population. North Korea’s kwan-li-so is an imprisonment system where estimated 150,000 to 200,000 political prisoners are housed. Recently, there are three political prison camps existing, one of them called Camp No.14 in Kaechon. In Kwan-li-so, there are forced hard labor, denying food as punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment for political prisoners. Many of those held in political prison camps have not committed any crimes, but are related to those deemed unfriendly to the regime and detained as a form of collective punishment. If any of prisoners escape from the camp, their families are hung to a tree to death.
Most of North Korea’s population except few upper class families have been suffering from dictatorship for more than fifty years. Also in North Korea, violation against human rights such as imprisoning people into the Kwan-li-so and forcing them to labor is common. Therefore, blurring the lines between its political prison camps and the surrounding population is a very critical problem. As more the lines get blurring, more innocent children, women, and men die and lose their human rights. I think the reason that North Korea’s government is expanding the camp is that the government is trying to expand the army and nuclear weapons. In fact, satellite recently has captured North Korea’s nuclear experiment several times. North Korean dictatorship transition from Kim Jung Il to Kim Jung Eun should have affected North Korea’s expanding armed forces. No more innocent citizens in North Korea should be harmed by North Korean’s dictatorship. United Nations should take a serious action to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry into the abysmal conditions and the general human rights situation in North Korea.