NBC report about North Korea

02.02.04

Chris at FreeNorthKorea.net has republished an NBC News report from last year about the camps:

Among NBC News’ findings:

* At one camp, Camp 22 in Haengyong, some 50,000 prisoners toil each day in conditions that U.S. officials and former inmates say results in the death of 20 percent to 25 percent of the prison population every year.

* Products made by prison laborers may wind up on U.S. store shelves, having been “washed” first through Chinese companies that serve as intermediaries.

* Entire families, including grandchildren, are incarcerated for even the most bland political statements.

* Forced abortions are carried out on pregnant women so that another generation of political dissidents will be “eradicated.”

* Inmates are used as human guinea pigs for testing biological and chemical agents, according to both former inmates and U.S. officials.

Chris wonders why there’s been so little interest about North Korea this past year:

Why Does The World Ignore North Korean Concentration Camp Atrocities?
This article was published around a year ago. But, even though it was in a major news outlet, it seemed to have little or no impact on American policy. Why?

Now the evidence on North Korea’s gas chambers has proved that the stories told by the defectors about the depraved chemical weapons tests on prisoners are true. A director of security for one of the biggest camps has defected and has even been interviewed on the BBC. Nobody is disputing what he has to say. But how many care? Asia has for so long, had a degree of suffering unmatched elsewhere on the globe.

[ . . . ]

Certainly, Kim Jong Il is a diabolical Hitler-like figure who is so blind to his people’s suffering that he uses them to test weapons. But human rights figures near the bottom of the list of the US’s goals for negotiating with North Korea. Can anyone, anywhere, be safe while this condition in North Korea persists? NO!

It’s 13 months later now. And who posted about this last year? I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t. But if embarrassment over not covering the story then prevents me from writing about it now, then shame on me.

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