Concentration camps and human experimentation in Nth Korea

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Concentration camps and human experimentation in Nth Korea

This challanges Nazi Germany for horrendous actions.... more on site...

In the remote north-eastern corner of North Korea, close to the border of Russia and China, is Haengyong. Hidden away in the mountains, this remote town is home to Camp 22 - North Korea's largest concentration camp, where thousands of men, women and children accused of political crimes are held.

Now, it is claimed, it is also where thousands die each year and where prison guards stamp on the necks of babies born to prisoners to kill them.

Over the past year harrowing first-hand testimonies from North Korean defectors have detailed execution and torture, and now chilling evidence has emerged that the walls of Camp 22 hide an even more evil secret: gas chambers where horrific chemical experiments are conducted on human beings.

Witnesses have described watching entire families being put in glass chambers and gassed. They are left to an agonising death while scientists take notes. The allegations offer the most shocking glimpse so far of Kim Jong-il's North Korean regime.

Kwon Hyuk, who has changed his name, was the former military attaché at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing. He was also the chief of management at Camp 22. In the BBC's This World documentary, to be broadcast tonight, Hyuk claims he now wants the world to know what is happening.

'I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas and dying in the gas chamber,' he said. 'The parents, son and and a daughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very last moment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.'

Hyuk has drawn detailed diagrams of the gas chamber he saw. He said: 'The glass chamber is sealed airtight. It is 3.5 metres wide, 3m long and 2.2m high_ [There] is the injection tube going through the unit. Normally, a family sticks together and individual prisoners stand separately around the corners. Scientists observe the entire process from above, through the glass.'

He explains how he had believed this treatment was justified. 'At the time I felt that they thoroughly deserved such a death. Because all of us were led to believe that all the bad things that were happening to North Korea were their fault; that we were poor, divided and not making progress as a country.

'It would be a total lie for me to say I feel sympathetic about the children dying such a painful death. Under the society and the regime I was in at the time, I only felt that they were the enemies. So I felt no sympathy or pity for them at all.'

His testimony is backed up by Soon Ok-lee, who was imprisoned for seven years. 'An officer ordered me to select 50 healthy female prisoners,' she said. 'One of the guards handed me a basket full of soaked cabbage, told me not to eat it but to give it to the 50 women. I gave them out and heard a scream from those who had eaten them. They were all screaming and vomiting blood. All who ate the cabbage leaves started violently vomiting blood and screaming with pain. It was hell. In less than 20 minutes they were quite dead.'
By netchicken: posted on 3-2-2004

More from here http://www.channelnewsasia....

North Korea detains up to 200,000 people in "slave" camps where torture and executions are routine and starvation is widespread, according to a report on the isolated state.

The study by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea told how pregnant women among thousands of North Koreans repatriated from China are forced to abort their infants or watch their babies killed after birth, in case the fathers are foreign.

"The Hidden Gulag - Exposing North Korea's Prison Camps" was compiled by David Hawk, a former UN human rights investigator, who has in the past reported on the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia and the ethnic massacres in Rwanda in the mid-1990s.

North Korea denies it has political prisoners. But the study, based on interviews with former inmates and guards who escaped North Korea, estimated there were between 150,000 and 200,000 people in dozens of camps.

It produced satellite photographs of the camps, and mines and industrial complexes where inmates are forced into "slave labour".

Political inmates are detained for their perceived opposition to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il or his father Kim Il- Sung, the North's founder leader who died in 1994.

Some were imprisoned for tipping ink on a picture of one of the two Kims or not taking care of photographs of the two that every household in the nation of 22 million people must prominently display.

One woman's crime had been to sing a South Korean pop song. Others were ethnic Koreans who returned from Japan but were considered to have been "spoiled by their exposure to Japanese liberalism and capitalist prosperity."

Up to three generations of the family of each offender is also detained to ensure political purification.

The study said there was "a North Korean gulag of forced-labour colonies, camps and prisons where scores of thousands of prisoners -- some political, some convicted felons -- are worked, many to their deaths."

The report said each camp has between 5,000 and 50,000 detainees and that "prisoners live under brutal conditions in permanent situations of deliberately contrived semi-starvation."

The researcher also interviewed former inmates such as An Hyuk, who was interned after going to China from where he was repatriated in 1986.

An was at the Yodok camp in South Hamgyong province where "his duties entailed breaking ice and wading waist- deep into a frozen stream to gather stones" to build an electric power station.

The report said it was "a 'murderous' construction project, as scores died from exposure, and even more lost fingers and toes to frostbite."

Another inmate at the same camp, Lee Young-Kuk, told how one man was "executed" by being dragged behind a car in front of all the prisoners. Other inmates then had to "place their hands on his bloodied corpse."

A former guard, Ahn Myong-Chol, was quoted as saying that between 1,500 and 2,000 prisoners, mostly children, died each year while he was at the Haengyoung camp in North Hamgyong province.

Ahn added that there were so many deaths from beatings "that at one point the guards were warned to be less violent."

A second category of camps was for the thousands of people sent back from China. According to some rights groups, up to 300,000 people have crossed the border to flee starvation and repression in North Korea.

The report said pregnant women sent back were forced to abort their infants or they were killed.

It quoted one 66-year-old grandmother held in the border city of Sinuiju who was forced to work in a medical building for pregnant detainees.

The woman, whose name was witheld to protect her family in North Korea, said she helped deliver seven babies "some of which were full term, some of which were injection induced abortions. All of the babies were killed."

"A doctor explained that since North Korea was short on food, the country should not have to feed the children of foreign fathers."

Two babies survived for two days. The grandmother told that a North Korean guard "came by, and seeing that two of the babies were not dead yet, stabbed them with forceps at a soft spot in their skulls."

Other women told of similar killings at other camps where women who had children with ethnic Han Chinese fathers were publicly criticised.
By netchicken: posted on 10-2-2004

N. Korea 'killing babies of women back from China'


WASHINGTON - North Korea kills the babies of pregnant women repatriated forcibly from China, according to a report released by a human rights group yesterday.

The infanticide is justified on the basis that the babies might have Chinese fathers, according to the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, which compiled the testimony by several witnesses.

Among the accounts was one given by Ms Choi Yong Hwa, a young woman sent to a provincial detention centre in South Sinuiju, near the Chinese frontier.

The report said she and two other women were assigned to help pregnant women get to a military hospital.

'The woman assisted by Choi was given a labour-inducing injection and shortly thereafter gave birth. While Choi watched in horror, the baby was suffocated with a wet towel in front of the mother, who passed out in distress.'

In another account, a 66-year-old grandmother held in the border city of Sinuiju said she helped deliver seven babies, 'some of which were full term, some of which were injection-induced abortions. All of the babies were killed'.

The report said: 'A doctor explained that since North Korea was short on food, the country should not have to feed the children of foreign fathers.' -- AFP
By netchicken: posted on 10-2-2004

Ugh. This is horrible stuff, no question.

Is it possible that this is newsy spin to slowly implant the attitude in the average news reader that the government of N. Korea is decidedly evil.

Is this spin in preparation for eventual preemptive invasion.

Didn't we read of the horrors of Saddam's regime prior to invasion?
By thekind: posted on 7-9-2004

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