'Abuses in NK prison camps unimaginable'
By Kim Se-jeong
Kim Sang-hun, an activist on North Korean human rights, stood before a surprisingly large crowd on Jan. 29 at the Ilmin Art Center in downtown Seoul where the documentary “Kimjongilia” was screened.
“What you saw in the documentary is only the surface (of the brutality by the North Korean regime against its people),” he said.
Directed by Nancy Heikin, “Kimjongilia” offers a glimpse of North Korean political prison camps through testimony of people who escaped from the country.
According to Kim, the degree of brutality committed by the regime goes beyond imagination.
For example, he said, authorities hung 15 women from a crane and set fires beneath them. “They were burnt to death.”
Prisoners facing public execution have all the joints in their body broken in advance. “No prisoner walks on his or her own feet. They’re all dragged to the spot. And they are gagged shut at all times,” he said.
Kim has counless testimonies like this ― all in written form ― collected over the last 15 years. The number of people he and the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, an organization he has worked with since its inception, have interviewed reaches over a thousand.
Kim said he is positive that by then, China, one of five at the members ignoring human rights violations in North Korea, won’t be able to distance itself from the issue.
Prison camps in North Korea serve to “re-brainwash” those who have shown “acts of disloyalty” to the state.
The worst kind is an attempt to flee the country, and if caught, the escapee and his or her entire family are sent to the camps indefinitely.
The movie in question is already released for instant viewing on Netflix. I haven't watched it yet; just stumbled across it the other day and was surprised to find one I hadn't seen. Judging from the article, its fairly new. I'm off to watch it now; it looks to be quite well produced.