Cruel and Unusual

North Korea Concentration Camps Hold 200K

Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

With all the news coming out of the Middle East, it’s easy to forget about North Korea. Unfortunately, the situation there has grown dire, as prison camps in the wilderness of South Pyongan, South Hamkyung, and North Hamkyung, where prisoners are kept in slave-like conditions, appear to be growing in size. Satellite images obtained by Amnesty International show four camps that, according to Amnesty, contain at least 200,000 political prisoners. The camps have been around since the 1950s, and a comparison with satellite photos from 2001 shows a significant increase in the size of the camps, according to Reuters. Amnesty interviewed 15 former prisoners and guards from the camps, who all claimed that inhumane conditions and torture were the norm, and food was so scarce they had to eat rats to survive.