Brutal Conditions in N.Korean Prison Camp Exposed

  • By Kim Myong-song, Lee Min-seok

    July 26, 2021 11:50

    Inmates at North Korea's Sungho-ri concentration camp near Pyongyang are suffering forced labor, violence, torture and hunger, according to a U.S. human rights watchdog.

    The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea last week published a report on the issue.

    A survivor of the prison camp identified as "i39" testified that the regime gave each inmate a daily ration of only 100 g of corn meal despite the required minimum amount of 200 g and most were dying of malnutrition.

    Often rat droppings were found in the gruel. The survivor said that during his three years of imprisonment, "three people died every day in the women's section." The dead bodies were taken to a crematorium, where "like origami, [guards] try to make corpses fit by breaking the bones."

    According to the report, male inmates were forced to work in a nearby limestone quarry, coal mine or cement factory. Female inmates were forced to farm or put the eyelashes on dolls for export to China for 13 hours a day. If they failed to fill the daily quota of 12,000 dolls, they were tortured by being forced to kneel on floors that were hot from the heat of the coalmine and suffered burns in less than five minutes.

    Meanwhile, the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government-funded think tank in Seoul, published white paper on North Korean human rights based on interviews with 50 North Korean defectors who arrived here recently. It quotes one defector as testifying that anyone caught watching a South Korean film is punished more harshly than those who are caught using crystal meth.

    "The number of homeless North Korean children roaming the streets dwindled after a shelter was built in 2015, but their numbers began to jump again in Nampo and Chongjin in 2019 due to international sanctions," it reports.

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