Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Top 10 Sick Accounts Of The Prison Camps In North Korea

By Tram Anh Mar 8, 2024

10. Jeong Kwang-de-il

According to North Korean law, Jeong Kwang-il was associated with the enemy because he was a trader who conducted business with South Koreans in China. A prison camp was the destination for Jeong when he was taken there on suspicion of being a spy. To get a confession out of him, interrogators used torture. All of his teeth were cracked, and he suffered terrible injuries and scars on the back of his head from the brutal beating he endured.The method used to torture Jeong was called “pigeon torture.”[1] With his hands cuffed behind his back and his feet dangling from the ground, he was a prisoner. Jeong would often find himself stuck in this situation for days on end. Due to the excruciating discomfort, he “felt it was better to die.” After 10 months of torture, Jeong confessed to the crimes he had made up.One of North Korea’s biggest prisons, Yodok, which held some 50,000 prisoners, was where he was taken. To welcome the arrivals, a sign read: “Let’s sacrifice our lives to protect the revolutionary leadership of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.”The harsh conditions in the camp caused the deaths of many people. At five in the morning, inmates were roused from their slumber and delivered a bowl of beans, corn and rice. Afterwards, they were compelled to labour. One springtime activity for the convicts was tending to a field. They were given a daily target of 1,170 square metres (12,600 ft2). Less food was provided to them if they failed to do so.

Working in the cold was more challenging. For over three kilometres (two miles), the inmates were forced to chop and transport massive logs, each measuring more than four metres (13 feet) in length. There were a lot of fatalities due to accidents, and the injured people who were unable to work essentially starved to death.A senior guard ultimately determined that Jeong had been falsely accused, ending his three-year sentence in prison. Both his house and his family had vanished by the time he was released. Within a month, Jeong had fled North Korea for South Korea.

9. Park Jihyun

The sick father of Jihyun Park pleaded with his family to flee North Korea. In order to cross the river into China, Park’s mother bribed the border guards. An agent she met assured her of a prosperous career in China. The opposite happened: an alcoholic farmer bought Park as a wife for 5,000 yuan ($750). Park was enslaved to him for six years, putting in sixteen-hour days. Her kid Chol was the one thing that brought her joy in life.She was repatriated to North Korea after being arrested when he was five years old. “The conditions were unspeakable” and the detainees “were worked like animals” in the labour camp where she was taken. Before crops could be sown, Park and her fellow prisoners had to clear the hills of trees. The inmates were not permitted to wear shoes, and the harsh stones caused Park’s feet to develop calluses and rips. Gangrene developed when an infection spread through her wounds.[2] inThe guards’ desire for Park’s “death outside the prison camp” led to her release. Although she continues to walk with a limp, she made a sluggish but steady recovery from her wounds. Eventually, Park was able to flee to China. There she discovered her abandoned son, who was about to die of starvation. She was granted shelter in Britain along with another defector whom she fell in love with.

8. Hwan Kang Cheol

As a result of his grandfather’s alleged betrayal of the people, Kang Cheol Hwan and his family were imprisoned. Entering Yodok, Kang was a mere 10-year-old. He couldn’t help but notice the other kids in the camp: They appeared “worse than beggars” due to their lack of muscle and fat.Instantly, Kang was remanded to a life of manual labour. The distance to the camp was kilometres of shoulder-borne logs. The guards would give the order to beat an inmate if they were not able to do the assigned tasks.the thirdInmates were unable to defy a guard’s command. They faced a prison cell within the prison camp as a punishment if they did. Inmates sat in chilly, murky water for six months while confined in a cramped cell. Only a handful managed to escape the micro-prison.Kang saw two troops flee. Their execution was a public hanging. The condemned men marched with thousands of inmates in a single file. Their mission was to hurl pebbles at the corpses while shouting, “Down with the traitors of the people!” As a result, the guards thrashed those individuals who could not bring themselves to throw stones.Prior to his family’s liberation, Kang spent ten years in the camp. When he and another ex-con escaped to China five years later, he boarded a ship bound for South Korea.

7. Kim Young-soon is

Even as a young woman, Kim Young-soon had the honour of dancing for the nation’s founding father, Kim Il Sung. The secret police once took her into custody, confined her in a room, and questioned her for two months over her connections to high-ranking party officials. Along with her parents and four small children, she was taken to Yodok prison camp despite her denial of knowledge.The camp’s food supply was low. Inmates were provided with meagre quantities of maize and salt. A reduction in an inmate’s rations was implemented if he did not accomplish his daily work goal. They ate whatever was available to them as a supplement to their prison diet. Protein was greatly needed, and rats, salamanders, and snakes supplied it. Inmates would pounce on the animals whenever they were seen and devour them uncooked. Nothing was available to the prisoners to allow them to prepare meals.Everyone was weak from starvation as there was never enough food. Every day, Kim witnessed the deaths of individuals, including the majority of her family. Through her nine years in captivity, she barely made it. A military official who happened to be in the area and knew Kim’s brother was able to get her released. In order to enter China, she purchased fake documents. She then proceeded to South Korea.[4]Kim learned the reason for her incarceration at a later date. Sung Hye-rim, Kim Jong Il’s first wife, and she were childhood pals. Sung had a child from a previous marriage before she left him for Kim Jong Il, which made the marital circumstances controversial. He had been her junior by five years. In an effort to conceal Sung’s identity, the authorities jailed everybody who had ever been in her presence.

6. Myong Chol, Ahn

Prison guarding was Ahn Myong Chol’s occupation for more than ten years. The inmates were not to be treated with human decency, according to Ahn’s training. Everyone told him to put an end to any prisoner who tried to flee.Guards were rewarded if they were successful in killing escapees. In order to let these guards go to college, many of them shot innocent people. One of Ahn’s coworkers ordered a prisoner to scale the barbed wire fence, and Ahn saw it happen. The coworker then shot the inmate and departed for university.[5]The guards also enjoyed killing for sport. As Ahn looked on, he saw two girls reaching into a trash-filled pond for a stray noodle. A soldier passed by and threw the children into the little pond. The two young women perished in the lake.When three dogs ran away from their master and attacked five kids, it was the most terrifying thing ever happened to Ahn. In an instant, three of the kids had died. The other two kids were buried alive by the guards, who found them breathing. The canines were rewarded with special food and patted by the guardians.Family detention followed Ahn’s father’s inebriated, critical comments about the country’s leadership. Ahn was concerned that someone would abduct him. So he swam to China from the beach after driving his truck there. Finally, he escaped to South Korea.

5. The person known as Kim Kwang-il

There was no food or money for Kim Kwang-Il, therefore he was about to die of starvation. He attempted to sell pine nuts that he had collected by crossing the border into China. Officers apprehended and detained Kim. He was tortured to obtain a confession from North Korean officers who were sure he had been smuggling goods across the border.Kim had to stand in awkward positions for what seemed like hours. He was forced to assume the persona of an aircraft or a motorcyclist. Inmates were required to maintain these poses until a glass of sweat was collected beneath them. The prosecution claimed that interrogees who passed out during questioning were trying to fake their unconsciousness, therefore they had to begin the process all over again. The agony was too much for Kim, and he eventually admitted it. A prison term of six years was imposed upon him.[6]Difficult labour in the camp was Kim’s assignment. Without the aid of machinery or tools, he had to descend a mountainside and haul large logs. My work was fraught with peril. Inmates frequently suffered shattered bones as a result of being crushed by rolling logs.Inmates loaded a cart with the bodies of those who had died from the arduous work. Inmates were had to ascend a mountain after loading the vehicle. They piled the corpses into a saucepan and set it ablaze. They gathered the ashes that remained after the victims were fully burned and utilised them as fertiliser for the fields.After serving 29 months, Kim was released. He escaped to South Korea later on.

4. Hwang Hye-jin

While working as a prison guard for seven years, Lim Hye-jin saw numerous horrific events. The worst of them happened when she was twenty years old. Even though two of the brothers got out of the camp alive, seven of their relatives were slaughtered in retaliation. As a group, the inmates were severely thrashed for the escape.After their capture in China, the brothers went back to North Korea. The brothers were beheaded in full front of their fellow prisoners after the guards brutally pounded the guys. The next step was to have the inmates hurl stones at the bodies.As far as Lim could tell, the guards frequently engaged in brutal behaviour towards the female inmates. Any inmate who caught a guard’s eye would be subject to rape. The only option for a woman who became pregnant as a result of these attacks was to undergo an abortion. Infants would be brutally murdered or set ablaze by the guards if their pregnancies were too far along.[8]The guards’ abuse of the ladies extended beyond sexual assault. Lim was there when a guard questioned a female inmate. When the guard lost his temper with the woman, he made her undress. He proceeded to set her ablaze. Nobody punished him for this. Inmates were conditioned to view themselves not as people but as “just as animals” by the guards.A brief jail sentence was meted out to Lim after she was discovered selling in China. The humiliation of being paraded nude before male guards made her decide to leave the nation. Lim made it to South Korea, where he is now secure.

3. Lee Soon-Ok

Over the course of fourteen years, Soon Ok Lee oversaw the operations of the Government Supply Office. It was her job to make sure that folks had food and supplies. A recession hit North Korea’s economy, and Soon was held responsible. individuals accused her of causing the individuals to starve to death. In order to get her to confess, they tortured her for months.She soon learned that if she confessed, her husband and son would be protected. Her family was then transferred to a labour camp after she accomplished this. “You are not human beings,” the guards informed the hostages. If you don’t consider yourselves beasts, you won’t last.[8]Was sent to the ironworks factory not long after. Her back began to contract as a result of the labor’s exposure to the extraordinarily high temperatures. She arched her back and her shoulders began to protrude. She was remanded to the diminutive “punishment cell” after getting herself into trouble for attempting to conceal a defective clothing. Within, she was unable to move, either standing or lying down. For weeks following her release, Soon struggled with her gait.During her time in prison, she endured multiple instances of torture. A leather strap and a kick to the head were used to beat her. Permanent headaches plagued her, paralysis affected her left side of the face, and she suffered from fractured teeth.After seven years, Soon was finally let free. After a few of years, she and her son managed to flee to South Korea via China.

2. Kim Hyuk

Hello, Hyuk! Kim, a 16-year-old without a permanent home, went to China in quest of food. After his capture and subsequent incarceration, he received a three-year prison sentence. It didn’t take long for Kim to stop caring about people. “Like an animal. [… ] No thinking” was his transformation. No agency. No emotion other than terror.[9]His movements grew robotic. He was given a handful of cornmeal and fifty to ninety soy beans for breakfast at seven in the morning. He continued working until noon, at which point he was provided with another little supper and sent back to his duties. At 7:30 in the evening, the inmates were given dinner and then instructed to commit the camp’s regulations and rules to memory. The entire squad had to remain up until every single prisoner could recite the regulations exactly if even one word was inaccurate. They often retired for the night at about 10:00 p.m.All Kim could think about, like the other inmates, was food. Once once a while, he’d get a rat. After deboning the animal, he would pat dry its flesh and consume it uncooked. In the event that he tried to prepare the rats for cooking, the guards would viciously assault him upon smelling the meat or the smoke.Using bartering, a few inmates were able to get more food supplies. In the camp, cigarettes were very sought after. Inmates pieced them together by picking up half-smoked butts from the floor and reusing the tobacco to make fresh cigarettes. The guards would brutally beat anyone caught producing or using these illegal cigarettes, making the situation exceedingly dangerous.Eight months later, Kim was granted parole, and he made his way to South Korea.

1. Chae Hyeon-A

Ji Hyeon-A made three trips to China from North Korea. She was returned to North Korea each time after being apprehended. The third time Ji was returned, she was pregnant. Anyone who became pregnant in China was compelled to undergo an abortion because the North Korean government does not approve of children of mixed racial heritage. Without medication, Ji was coerced into having an abortion at a nearby police station.After that, she was taken to a work camp, where she saw other pregnant women abused. The ladies were made to endure painful labour, and she would often wake up in the middle of the night to the cries of expectant women who had just miscarried.Eight months after putting in a full day’s work, Ji saw a woman give birth. The mother’s joy at holding her kid was fleeting, though. She was told by a guard to drown her infant. Despite her cries for mercy, the mother gave in to her orders.[10]Ji was eventually let out of prison. After escaping from North Korea, she was able to see her loved ones again.

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