The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea yesterday released the long-awaited follow-up to its 2003 report, ‘The Hidden Gulag’.
Written by David Hawk, the second edition of the report leverages the 23,000-strong defector population in South Korea to describe the nature of North Korea’s brutal system of prison camps and detention facilities in greater detail than was possible at the time of the first edition, whilst also employing an analytical framework defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002 to analyze the serious human rights violations perpetrated within it.
Citing the need to address “North Korea’s deliberate effort to hide the truth” behind the sprawling network of prisons, it explains a system which is renowned for imprisoning people in large numbers for crimes which, it notes, would not even be punishable in the vast majority of countries, and which is believed to have killed more than 100,000 people.
It also gathers together high definition satellite imagery to reveal the locations and structures of some of the country’s political prison camps, or ‘kwanliso’, including the notorious No. 15 at Yodok, No. 14 at Kaechon, No. 18 at Bukchang, No. 22 at Hoiryeong and No. 25 at Chongjin.
The report is available for download in pdf format here