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How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp

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dude

dude
May 18, 2007
6,987
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He snitched on his bro and mom.. If I was living in such a shithole, i would rather choose death than telling on my own family.
I had the opprotunity to hear many first-hand holocaust stories, and they almost all involve someone having to screw over friends, family and whatnot to survive. Trying to judge someone doing that from the comfort of you chair is the most ignorant thing you could do. You can never, ever, imagine having to go through what these people have gone through, and pretending that you'd uphold your concept of honor or whatever in this kind of situation s laughable. The extent of thi kind of horror is just not something you can comperhend, and judging what people had to do in order to survive is pretty disgusting of you.

Goes to
Wow the kid snitched at he's family, fucking them over, including himself.
As well
 

Stet

Banned
Jul 15, 2006
18,714
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He snitched on his bro and mom.. If I was living in such a shithole, i would rather choose death than telling on my own family.

Snooki av. Snooki-like understanding of the world.


It's hard to believe anything like this could actually happen. It's really depressing.
 

Foxy Fox 39

Banned
Sep 9, 2009
7,900
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Am I the only one who thought it sounded almost exactly like the brutality displayed in the holocaust (no brainer) but also the slave trade and subsequent years?
 

DemonNite

Member
Apr 15, 2007
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for those who haven't seen it...

Getting into North Korea was one of the hardest and weirdest processes VBS has ever dealt with. After we went back and forth with their representatives for months, they finally said they were going to allow 16 journalists into the country to cover the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. Then, ten days before we were supposed to go, they said, “No, nobody can come.” Then they said, “OK, OK, you can come. But only as tourists.” We had no idea what that was supposed to mean. They already knew we were journalists, and over there if you get caught being a journalist when you’re supposed to be a tourist you go to jail. We don’t like jail. And we’re willing to bet we’d hate jail in North Korea. But we went for it. The first leg of the trip was a flight into northern China. At the airport, the North Korean consulate took our passports and all of our money, then brought us to a restaurant. We were sitting there with our tour group, and suddenly all the other diners left and these women came out and started singing North Korean nationalist songs. We were thinking, “Look, we were just on a plane for 20 hours. We’re jet-lagged. Can we just go to bed?” but this guy with our group who was from the LA Times told us, “Everyone in here besides us is secret police. If you don’t act excited then you’re not going to get your visa. So we got drunk and jumped up onstage and sang songs with the girls. The next day we got our visas. A lot of people we had gone with didn’t get theirs. That was our first hint at just what a freaky, freaky trip we were embarking on…
— VBS Founder Shane Smith

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/the-vice-guide-to-travel/vice-guide-to-north-korea-1-of-3

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/the-vice-guide-to-travel/vice-guide-to-north-korea-2-of-3

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/the-vice-guide-to-travel/vice-guide-to-north-korea-3-of-3
 

TheNatural

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Jun 23, 2010
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Wow I'm going to have to read this whole book. One of the most unbelievable stories of a person surviving I've ever read.
 

TheNatural

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Jun 23, 2010
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He snitched on his bro and mom.. If I was living in such a shithole, i would rather choose death than telling on my own family.

Its also just disgusting how little mainstream media coverage there is for this. All those people are suffering and NOBODY CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT

Well what qualifies and brother and mother in this story isn't very much either, it's not like they were anywhere close to what a family is. People in this thread responding to this story probably have a closer bond than what their supposed "families" are.
 
Aug 11, 2010
2,562
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wow. Sounds like something straight out of 1984.

More like Dante's Inferno

The only other one that comes close is Myanmar.

And, fortunately, it appears Myanmar is rapidly opening up its diplomatic and economic relations with the West and the rest of the world. North Korea, on the other hand, has its regime locked in for decades (or centuries) more.


NK is the worst place on earth imo. It's a philistine re-creation of 1984.

I would seriously consider joining the military if we ever decided to overthrow their regime and end (or at least try to end) the misery. That's not going to happen though, South Korea would have to be on board too and willing to risk attacks on them.

The main problem with a regime-change war against the DPRK is the relatively short distance from their missile launchers to major populations centers in South Korea. While the US has heavily invested in missile defense projects over the last decade and could eventually "take out" most missiles heading towards Japan or the southern cities of SK during a military operation, cities like Seoul would still be extremely vulnerable to hundreds or thousands of DPRK missile strikes.

Any operation against the DPRK would have to be very swift and the new bunker-busting bombs would need to have a very high success rate.
 

Aesius

Member
May 19, 2009
7,492
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Read a book about a British ex-pat who lived in Pyongyang for a few years for work in the 1980s. Radically different story, obviously, but equally fascinating.

Thanks for the link, OP. I will probably preorder this book.

Found it. http://www.aidanfc.net/a_year_in_pyongyang_1.html

Here's the entire book online. As mentioned, this guy lives in Pyongyang the entire time, so he obviously has a fairly "comfortable" experience in the DPRK, but it's a fascinating account of what life is like over there for the privileged few.
 

Pezking

Member
Jan 3, 2006
2,550
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While reading this, I remembered an article about a former North Korean prison guard:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3071468/#.T29K59Xz1vU

If there’s a record of killing any escapee, then the guard will be entitled to study in the college. Because of that, some guards kill innocent people. Beating and killing is an everyday affair.

And I heard many times that eyeballs were taken out by beating. And I saw that by beating the person, the muscle was damaged and the bone was exposed, outside, and they put salt on the wounded part.

there was one female named Han Jin Duk, 26 years old. (...) And my supervisor, when he saw the woman, she was beautiful. And he raped her (...)

One day I was going to the place to load the coal, I met her. And I noticed she was exactly that woman, and I asked her, how you could survive. And she told me, that yes, I survived. But she showed me her body, and it was all burned by fire.

After six months I met her at the corn storage in Kusan district and found her putting on a used tire on her knees because her legs were cut off. Because of a coal mine wagon ran over her knees. And all she could do now was separate the corn grains from the cob.

The reason why she was forced to go to the prison is her father’s elder brother was purged at the Anbyon, Kanwhan Do province. She went when she was 5 years old. All of the family members were imprisoned. Her mother starved to death, and her brother also starved to death in the prison. I met her at age 26. So it means she was in the prison for 21 years. I think she no longer is in the world.

One unforgettable image, there were two girls and they were trying to take out a piece of noodle from one polluted water pond where they put the garbage. And one guard kicked the kids into the small pond, and they drowned.
 

g.r.e.

Member
Nov 1, 2007
595
2
975
How can civilized countries even keep their eyes closed to such barbarism? This is nuts. Is it because there would be virtually no economic revenue from aiding the people of North Korea? Is it because of China?
 

TacticalFox88

Banned
Feb 13, 2009
22,562
2
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Call me barbaric, but if it weren't for innocent civilians, and I had the power NK would be turned to fucking glass.
 

nelsonroyale

Member
Sep 16, 2006
21,980
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What some people can do when they dont fear repercussions is terrifying....Such people are often the first to break and scream mercy when the table are turned...it angers and saddens me.

That story about that girl is too horrible. When the system legitimizes insanity....
 

iammeiam

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Dec 28, 2006
10,664
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How can civilized countries even keep their eyes closed to such barbarism? This is nuts. Is it because there would be virtually no economic revenue from aiding the people of North Korea? Is it because of China?

Assuming we decided to cowboy up and liberate those people (which would, at least initially, make us feel really good)... what do you do with an entire nation's worth of people who are malnourished, have no concept of the outside world, and have been more or less brainwashed into relying on a government that we've just dismantled for everything? The impact of refugees on China and South Korea would most likely be devestating for those countries.

Throw in that China would get antsy about US aggression in a border territory, that Seoul is actually in-range of some of NK's weapons leading to high casualties there (and NK apparently has some rudimentary form of nuclear technology), and the absurd size of the North Korean military and you're looking at a literal bloodbath just to get anything done. And then once you're in, you have to deal with a populace told since birth that the American Imperialists are the cause of everything wrong in their lives (power outages? American Imperialists up to no good) that the American Imperialists have just forcefully taken over their country.

We've been waiting for the country to collapse in on itself forever--people thought it'd go shortly after losing Kim Il Sung, and that didn't pan out. We can also hope that one of the successors to power isn't a total evil dick and is willing to make concessions in exchange for foreign trade agreements and aid. As sick as working with the people pulling this shit is, the military option is worse.

The North Korea situation is just awful.
 

Sealda

Banned
Dec 7, 2009
2,834
1
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Denmark

Honestly, i find this constant linking to the Vice documentary in every damn North Korean topic tiresome. There are like 25 other documentaries, who are much better at showing the country than Vice.

If i have to chose one of the "Lets go to DPRK on the standard vacation tour" documentaries, i find Holiday In The Axis Of Evil: North Korea by BBC the best. It actually shows the tourist tour from a completely different perspective. Then again, its made by diplomatic and socially skilled British people and not the hipsters at Vice.


Its obvious that Vice are trying their best to make it so much more thrilling and creepy than it has to be. Just look at the BBC documentary, its also a "laid back/entertaining" type of documentary but it does it from a completely different perspective. The british host actually manages to loosen up the korean guides and he even gets the chance to talk "normal" Pyongyang citizens and the documentary shows that even though they are North Koreans, they can still have warm hearts and humor. In the BBC documentary, the guides turns out to actually be likable people and it feels quite sad when they say good bye. Actually, the whole documentary makes one feel for the North Koreans. Same thing with the documentary about the Philharmonic documentary where at the last song, all the north koreans loosens up their iron hearts and actually starts waving and some of them even shedding tears! In the same way, the good bye between the orchestra and the north koreans turns out to be a sad affair! Where you realize, these people, even if they are the elite, actually have hearts too!

Anyway, these DPRK stories always makes me depressed.
 

Lord Error

Insane For Sony
Jun 8, 2004
28,318
2
0
That was incredibly depressing, and I have little doubt that any of it was embellished. Things that happen in some places even now, are just incomprehensible sometimes. Has anyone read the book called White Tiger? How much truth is there to what's in it? Because that was really depressing and quite unexpected to me from that part of the world too.
 

g.r.e.

Member
Nov 1, 2007
595
2
975
We've been waiting for the country to collapse in on itself forever--people thought it'd go shortly after losing Kim Il Sung, and that didn't pan out. We can also hope that one of the successors to power isn't a total evil dick and is willing to make concessions in exchange for foreign trade agreements and aid. As sick as working with the people pulling this shit is, the military option is worse.

The North Korea situation is just awful.
It would be best if this could be sorted out without the use of any military forces, I agree with you on this.
 

Amakusa

Member
Sep 21, 2004
3,144
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Meanwhile in North K.... *reads full post*

FUCK! *clicks link and reads full*

That would make a awesome movie. That place is sick
 

rpmurphy

Member
Dec 6, 2008
14,937
1
0
Am I the only one who thought it sounded almost exactly like the brutality displayed in the holocaust (no brainer) but also the slave trade and subsequent years?
If there's a modern day nation that looks like it was transported directly from the medieval times, North Korea would be the closest thing to that.
 

Raelson

Member
Jun 19, 2009
2,232
0
0
Honestly, i find this constant linking to the Vice documentary in every damn North Korean topic tiresome. There are like 25 other documentaries, who are much better at showing the country than Vice.

If i have to chose one of the "Lets go to DPRK on the standard vacation tour" documentaries, i find Holiday In The Axis Of Evil: North Korea by BBC the best. It actually shows the tourist tour from a completely different perspective. Then again, its made by diplomatic and socially skilled British people and not the hipsters at Vice.


Its obvious that Vice are trying their best to make it so much more thrilling and creepy than it has to be. Just look at the BBC documentary, its also a "laid back/entertaining" type of documentary but it does it from a completely different perspective. The british host actually manages to loosen up the korean guides and he even gets the chance to talk "normal" Pyongyang citizens and the documentary shows that even though they are North Koreans, they can still have warm hearts and humor. In the BBC documentary, the guides turns out to actually be likable people and it feels quite sad when they say good bye. Actually, the whole documentary makes one feel for the North Koreans. Same thing with the documentary about the Philharmonic documentary where at the last song, all the north koreans loosens up their iron hearts and actually starts waving and some of them even shedding tears! In the same way, the good bye between the orchestra and the north koreans turns out to be a sad affair! Where you realize, these people, even if they are the elite, actually have hearts too!

Anyway, these DPRK stories always makes me depressed.

Totally agree with you. The Vice guide says almost nothing about the country.
 

Tristam

Member
Apr 16, 2007
5,946
0
1,015
Assuming we decided to cowboy up and liberate those people (which would, at least initially, make us feel really good)... what do you do with an entire nation's worth of people who are malnourished, have no concept of the outside world, and have been more or less brainwashed into relying on a government that we've just dismantled for everything? The impact of refugees on China and South Korea would most likely be devestating for those countries.

Throw in that China would get antsy about US aggression in a border territory, that Seoul is actually in-range of some of NK's weapons leading to high casualties there (and NK apparently has some rudimentary form of nuclear technology), and the absurd size of the North Korean military and you're looking at a literal bloodbath just to get anything done. And then once you're in, you have to deal with a populace told since birth that the American Imperialists are the cause of everything wrong in their lives (power outages? American Imperialists up to no good) that the American Imperialists have just forcefully taken over their country.

We've been waiting for the country to collapse in on itself forever--people thought it'd go shortly after losing Kim Il Sung, and that didn't pan out. We can also hope that one of the successors to power isn't a total evil dick and is willing to make concessions in exchange for foreign trade agreements and aid. As sick as working with the people pulling this shit is, the military option is worse.

The North Korea situation is just awful.

The rest of your post is sound, but this is irrelevant. You don't need to be a general, or even an armchair general, to know that the North's air support is insanely tiny and outdated, and any marching army--absent modern air support--would be easily vanquished. Malnourished men make for cannon fodder against fighter jets.

The bigger danger is all of the artillery pointed at Seoul.
 

squidyj

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Jun 15, 2011
17,028
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Assuming we decided to cowboy up and liberate those people (which would, at least initially, make us feel really good)... what do you do with an entire nation's worth of people who are malnourished, have no concept of the outside world, and have been more or less brainwashed into relying on a government that we've just dismantled for everything? The impact of refugees on China and South Korea would most likely be devestating for those countries.

Throw in that China would get antsy about US aggression in a border territory, that Seoul is actually in-range of some of NK's weapons leading to high casualties there (and NK apparently has some rudimentary form of nuclear technology), and the absurd size of the North Korean military and you're looking at a literal bloodbath just to get anything done. And then once you're in, you have to deal with a populace told since birth that the American Imperialists are the cause of everything wrong in their lives (power outages? American Imperialists up to no good) that the American Imperialists have just forcefully taken over their country.

We've been waiting for the country to collapse in on itself forever--people thought it'd go shortly after losing Kim Il Sung, and that didn't pan out. We can also hope that one of the successors to power isn't a total evil dick and is willing to make concessions in exchange for foreign trade agreements and aid. As sick as working with the people pulling this shit is, the military option is worse.

The North Korea situation is just awful.

Ideally we'd go in with a long-term goal and possibly a roadmap toward reunification, but when was the last thing we did anything considering the long term implications lawl?
 

iammeiam

Member
Dec 28, 2006
10,664
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0
The rest of your post is sound, but this is irrelevant. You don't need to be a general, or even an armchair general, to know that the North's air support is insanely tiny and outdated, and any marching army--absent modern air support--would be easily vanquished. Malnourished men make for cannon fodder against fighter jets.

The bigger danger is all of the artillery pointed at Seoul.

Yeah I wasn't clear--I basically meant we'd be killing a giant chunk of the DPRK population to get in there, because their military is so huge. The losses to forces on 'our' side in direct combat would be minimal, but it'd be pretty much a slaughter of their forces which are ridiculously outsized... so a lot of people in both Seoul and North Korea would die.
 

McLovin

Member
Aug 20, 2007
13,891
16
1,055
Bridgeport, CT
I feel terrible for the dad, got fucked by his brothers, wife and son, and then his youngest son. He's the only one that didn't really break any laws. Worst thing he did was to have children in that hellhole.
 

Sealda

Banned
Dec 7, 2009
2,834
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Honestly, imagine the reaction if Kim Jong Un actually in public went out and said "We are releasing all political prisoners, we are deeply sorry and ashamed of the repression of the korean people". Obviously, that would instantly grant him tons of foreign aid and diplomacy...


I am, is he aware of this actually going on?! After all its a guy, who has had a functional life outside DPRK, he cannot be 100 % brain washed. Unless, he was treated like Saddams sons, forced to watch execution and torture videos and to kill people as they grew up.

Since its well known, that KJI never was very "Evil" in person, he never raped any women, never killed any men etc. I have a hard time thinking they got that childhood.
 

Barack Lesnar

Banned
Jun 7, 2010
19,179
0
0
Unbelievably horrific... buying the book, 15 bucks on amazon for the hardcover which releases on the 29th. Also, the msnbc story on page 2 with the woman was just mind-bogglingly horrific. This puts our lives in perspective, doesn't it.
 

Tristam

Member
Apr 16, 2007
5,946
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1,015
Yeah I wasn't clear--I basically meant we'd be killing a giant chunk of the DPRK population to get in there, because their military is so huge. The losses to forces on 'our' side in direct combat would be minimal, but it'd be pretty much a slaughter of their forces which are ridiculously outsized... so a lot of people in both Seoul and North Korea would die.

Ah I see what you were saying. My fault.
 

Antagon

Member
Aug 10, 2006
2,958
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0
He ratted his mother and brother out to die? What a monster.

By trying to escape without him, his mother and brother pretty much sentenced him to death. If he hadn't ratted them out he would've been killed (or at least tortured badly, which still happened).
 

DR2K

Banned
Jun 6, 2009
22,189
55
1,095
34
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By trying to escape without him, his mother and brother pretty much sentenced him to death. If he hadn't ratted them out he would've been killed (or at least tortured badly, which still happened).

Yeah I know the whole situation is horrific. Just strips people from their humanity.
 

Al-ibn Kermit

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2009
6,291
0
0
Honestly, i find this constant linking to the Vice documentary in every damn North Korean topic tiresome. There are like 25 other documentaries, who are much better at showing the country than Vice.

If i have to chose one of the "Lets go to DPRK on the standard vacation tour" documentaries, i find Holiday In The Axis Of Evil: North Korea by BBC the best. It actually shows the tourist tour from a completely different perspective. Then again, its made by diplomatic and socially skilled British people and not the hipsters at Vice.


Its obvious that Vice are trying their best to make it so much more thrilling and creepy than it has to be. Just look at the BBC documentary, its also a "laid back/entertaining" type of documentary but it does it from a completely different perspective. The british host actually manages to loosen up the korean guides and he even gets the chance to talk "normal" Pyongyang citizens and the documentary shows that even though they are North Koreans, they can still have warm hearts and humor. In the BBC documentary, the guides turns out to actually be likable people and it feels quite sad when they say good bye. Actually, the whole documentary makes one feel for the North Koreans. Same thing with the documentary about the Philharmonic documentary where at the last song, all the north koreans loosens up their iron hearts and actually starts waving and some of them even shedding tears! In the same way, the good bye between the orchestra and the north koreans turns out to be a sad affair! Where you realize, these people, even if they are the elite, actually have hearts too!

Anyway, these DPRK stories always makes me depressed.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try to track this down.
 

Cookie18

Member
Dec 24, 2011
1,665
0
0
South Korea
I read this yesterday and just couldn't believe how bad it is. I mean I knew before reading it that North Korean prison camps were hell holes but reading about it first hand is completely different. I'll definitely be buying the book after reading that. Edit: Ordered from Amazon, it says that it releases on the 29th of March but it also said it's shipping right away.

Also, fuck the people who are complaining that he told on his mum and brother. You have no idea what that situation is like and to criticise how he acted in that situation is unbelievably ignorant of you.
 

delirium

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Jun 23, 2006
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My trust gets lowered a little by the fact that the US has already nuked cities off the face of this world.
It's not like the US did the math and thought that it would have led to more deaths if they invaded instead.

hm... I'm of the opinion that Japan was preparing to surrender anyway (they were in a pretty bad place, especially after the first bomb, and the emperor and the government had been considering surrender for a couple of years - it was only the military who wanted to keep fighting) and the US went and nuked them mostly as a power display for Russia. I'm reading a book about it at the moment actually, I wish I was further in so that I could say more.
Hindsight is 20/20 and the US government is not omniscient. They could not have known the actions of the Japanese government. And the Japanese that did wanted to keep fighting almost succeeding in overthrowing the Imperial government in a coup to keep fighting.
 

cousins

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Dec 31, 2011
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It's not like the US did the math and thought that it would have led to more deaths if they invaded instead.

Are you serious? The Japanese military was obliterated by that point, it was completely unnecessary. All that was needed for Japan to surrender was for us to tell the Emperor he wouldn't be killed, which we did anyway, after the bombings.

The bombings were 100% Truman waving his dick.
 
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