An editorial in yesterday’s New York Sun recommends the English-language site of South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo; the paper has an entire section on North Korea. Among the articles is this account of the North Korean concentration camps:

North Korea is known to operate five concentration camps now, accommodating a total of over 200,000. Once condemned as political criminals in the North, not only [convicts] themselves, but also their families are incarcerated in concentration camps without trial….

[I]nmates get up at between 5:00am and 6:00am and work until 8:00pm, engaged in farming, coal mining and digging other minerals. After a day of hard work, they have to undergo ideological study sessions and roll calls before going to bed at around 10:00pm…. The basic daily ration … has been slashed to 200-300g since the food crisis hit the country several years ago. As a consequence, the inmates, it is said, always suffer from hunger, catch and eat snakes, frogs and rabbits whenever possible, let alone tree barks and plant roots. Many inmates perish eventually after suffering from such diseases as pellagra, tuberculosis and hepatitis. [Digital Chosunilbo, 12/5/02]

Among other articles, the paper also provides this account of a 1987 massacre of 5,000 camp prisoners, this aerial photo of a camp, and this description of the Hoeryong camp, which holds 50,000.

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