North Korea or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is run by a family dictatorship that controls a totalitarian government. It is bordered by China, Russia, and South Korea. I would not recomend traveling to this country. Unless you are a famous basketball player, you will not be greeted very kindly.
"Shin Dong Hyuk's Message to his father, Shin Kyung Seop" Shin Dong Hyuk was born in the No. 14 Camp in Kaecheon. For 23 year he believed the world consisted...
Liam Sampson's insight:
Shin Dong-Hyuk gives a public message to his father still trapped in Camp 14. The family members of those who try to escape face a brutal punishment by relation of blood. Shin had not cared much for his dad but in retrospect he wishes he had shown more compassion towards him.
Merrill Newman -- the 85-year-old American detained by North Korean authorities earlier this fall -- has been "deported," North Korea's state news agency says.
Liam Sampson's insight:
This CNN article concerns an American tourist who traveled to North Korea and was detained against his will. His name is Merrill Newman and he is a veteran who served during the North Korean war, which could explain the reason behind the detaining. He was required to read an apology letter written by North Korean officials; it contained an apology “from Newton” for serving in the Armed Forces and fighting against the North Koreans. He was later put in a holding facility and eventually released. He did not face any abuse or unfair treatment during his time there. He was “comfortable”, as he describes it.
The CNN article titled Photos show scale of North Korea's repressive prison camps – Amnesty shows the enlargement of North Korean labor camps via satellite imagery. The camps seem to be constructing new housing compounds and work sites. The article also includes interviews with a former officer of the labor camp number 16. He said “detainees were forced to dig their own graves and were then killed with hammer blows to their necks.” A group, known as Amnesty International, has expressed their concern regarding these death camps and has urged North Korean authorities to discontinue there use.
North Korean labor camps are very similar to the concentration camps of the Nazi's in World War II. Shin, who the book Escape From Camp 14 is based off of, was born in one of these labor camps, imprisoned because of the crimes of his uncles. Malnutrition remains a large problem in North Korea and especially inside the camps.
The biography, Escape from Camp 14, is a miraculous story of how a man, named Shin In Geun (now Shin Dong-Hyuk), escapes from one of the most brutal labor camps in the world. Shin In Geun was born inside of the camp from parents of a type of “reward marriage” that takes place inside the camp. The book begins with the introduction of Shin’s first memory, a public execution. The atrocities he witnessed ranged from the beating of his 6 year old classmate till the last of her life slipped away to the death of his own mother and brother killed right before his eyes. Coupled with severe beatings and the frequent threat of death, he also lacked an adequate source of food. Malnourishment was prevalent inside the camp to the point where prisoners scavenged for rats and picked out the undigested corn grains from cow feces. The prisoners viewed one another as competition, brainwashed to follow an instated set of rules. Prisoners snitched on other prisoners and joined the guards in the beating of those who failed to abide to camp regulations. In the end, Shin managed to escape the death trap and was later accommodated into an American family, acting as the family Shin never had. However, even though Shin had physically escaped the camp, his mind remains in a continual state of imprisonment, scarred by the horrible acts of cruelty that remain embedded in his subconscious.
The North Korean PEOPLE have massive potential to drive change in their country. We exist to empower the PEOPLE.
Liam Sampson's insight:
The organization LiNK stands for Liberty in North Korea and its primary purpose is to safely transfer refugees from China to the United States. The organization has currently rescued 204 refugees since their establishment in 2010. If refugees are caught in China they are sent back to North Korea and face an extremely hard punishment. LiNK provides asylum for these refugees and also the means to begin a new life. Transferring a refugee costs $2,500 which is what the donations are used for. They rescue refugee without cost or condition, unlike the brokers that some North Koreans’ pay and struggle to pay back.
Kim Jong-un has continued to threaten its neighboring countries with the continuation of nuclear endeavors. North Korea has severed the agreement tohonor the 1953 Korean War armistice and refuses to negotiate with the United States and South Korea. The US has warned North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un several times about continuing it’s nuclear program. They have promised in the past to end their domestic nuclear program and reduce hostilities with the South, only to extract more aid and other concessions. The promises given by North Korea were never kept. The North Korean society continues to blame the United States and South Korea for its economic woes.
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