I just finished the book. I'm kind of at a loss for words, it's hard to even express how it made me feel. It's almost like I constantly wanted to believe I was reading about something that happened during the 40's or 50's but the constant dates kept reminding me that this is happening right now. It's just so unbelievably tragic.Shit...
Damn this planet. Damn it to fuck.
Asides from these "camps" are there normal places people live in North Korea?
I don't know what normal would mean, but is the entire country military and camps or . . . . can people sorta just "be" there?
Read "Nothing to Envy". It's one of the best books about the lives of North Koreans.
Yes, a lot of people just live in apartments and have jobs teaching, farming, working in offices, etc. Just in a fucked up country where you have to be constantly careful about what you say.
It's perhaps one of the best books I've read this year and I ended up reading Nothing to Envy because of it. I highly recommend both, just for the sake of getting an idea of how people need to watch what they say all the time and what the consequences are--even across generations!--if you don't.Thanks, I'll check it out. I'm on the fence about this book. The read from the OP is great, but I don't know how i'd feel after a whole book.
I'm looking at it now its just crazy that in this day and age we can see satellite pictures of these places and knowing there is some crazy shit going on there. I've been looking around all the farms and mountains.Pretty sure you can find them.
There was an article about them but I found it hard to identify them properly.
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.'
Defectors have smuggled out documents that appear to reveal how methodical the chemical experiments were. One stamped 'top secret' and 'transfer letter' is dated February 2002. The name of the victim was Lin Hun-hwa. He was 39. The text reads: 'The above person is transferred from ... camp number 22 for the purpose of human experimentation of liquid gas for chemical weapons.'