North Korea Expanding Secret Gulag: Photos

Experts divided over meaning of Camp 25's purported expansion

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 28, 2013 8:23 AM CST

(Newser) – North Korea's economy may not be growing, but one of its prison camps sure seems to be. New satellite photos show that Camp 25, thought to house about 5,000 of the 200,000 people believed to be held in North Korea's gulags, has grown steadily over the past decade, reports the Washington Post. Its perimeter grew 37% between just 2009 and 2010, according to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, which says new buildings, guard posts, and fields have been added.

Experts are unsure whether the expansion of Camp 25 signals an overall growth in political prisoners in North Korea or a move to accommodate existing prisoners as other camps are downsized. "It appears that North Korea's vast system of unlawful imprisonment may be undergoing an alteration involving the consolidation of some of its political prison camps, and the expansion of others," said the executive director of the committee, according to Yonhap News.

A satellite image of North Korean prison camp No. 15 at Yodok. A new report says camp No. 25 has grown dramatically over the past 10 years.   (AmnestyInternational)
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