North Korea Still Expanding Its Labor Camps: Reports

Satellite images show 'abuse on an industrial scale'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2016 1:04 PM CST
North Korea Still Expanding Its Labor Camps: Reports
A satellite image of Camp 25.   (Amnesty International)

A 2014 UN report accusing Kim Jong Un of crimes against humanity through forced labor camps apparently did nothing to deter him. In fact, North Korea has increased and expanded its camps in the years since, according to satellite images included in a Committee for Human Rights in North Korea report. They show "detention facilities close to the border of China have shut down" but "inland facilities have expanded" and "most importantly, thousands of people have disappeared in the process of being relocated away from the border," the executive director of HRNK—which also spoke to defectors—tells the Guardian. The report also notes that farm fields and industrial factories are still being worked at various camps.

Satellite photos from May and August of this year were also included in an Amnesty International report published last week and show "abuse on an industrial scale," a rep says. They provide evidence of six new guard posts and a new roof on a suspected crematorium at Camp 25, and though many buildings and housing units have been destroyed at Camp 15, people remained working the fields within the prison compound. "This regime still relies on a vast network of unlawful imprisonment facilities in order to exercise coercion and control and punishment of its population," concludes HRNK's director. "The people held there do not have sentences, they are not given sentences. Most of them don't know why they were sent there." These reports come as the United Nations handed North Korea deeper sanctions on Wednesday over its nuclear program, reports the AP. (More North Korea stories.)

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