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Yodok Concentration Camp - North Korea

Found an interesting clip from 2009 about Yodok Concentration Camp in North Korea, located in Yodŏk-gun (county) in South Hamgyong Province. The official name is Kwan-li-so (reeducation center) No. 15.

In the 1990s, an estimated 30,000 prisoners were in the lifetime area, and around 16,500 prisoners in the revolutionizing zone (many of them family members of prisoners and people repatriated from Japan). It is widely accepted this number has grown significantly.

Yodŏk camp has a lifetime-imprisonment "total-control zone", but also "revolutionizing zones", from which prisoners are sometimes released.

The whole encampment is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence measuring 3 to 4 meters and walls 2 to 3 meters tall topped with electrical wire. Along the fence there are watchtowers, and patrolled by 1,000 guards armed with automatic rifles, hand grenades and guard dogs.

Labor operations at the Kuŭp-ri section of Yodŏk include a gypsum quarry and a re-opened gold mine, where some 800 men worked and accidents happen frequently. There were also textile plants, distilleries and a coppersmith workshop.

Kang Chol-Hwan, a prisoner from 1977 to 1987, estimates around 4% of prisoners in the Kuŭp-ri revolutionizing zone died each year, mostly because of malnutrition and disease. Although complete families (including children) were imprisoned based on the claimed guilt of one member, any sexual contact between prisoners is not allowed and pregnancies are forcibly aborted.
Guards, however, sexually abuse female prisoners, who are then punished if they fall pregnant. Kang described life in Yodŏk camp in the book "The Aquariums of Pyongyang".

Lee Young-kuk, a prisoner from 1995 to 1999, estimates that around 20% of prisoners in the Taesuk-ri Revolutionizing Zone died per year, while new prisoners arrived each month. As cells were not heated, most prisoners suffered from frostbitten ears and swollen legs during the winter months.

Both revolutionizing areas have public executions by hanging and shootings for prisoners who had tried to escape or who had been caught stealing food. In at least one case an attempted escapee was tied and dragged behind a car in front of the assembled prisoners until dead.

In 2004, a Japanese television station aired what it said was footage showing scenes from the camp.

In 2008, a documentary entitled "Yodok Stories", by Andrzej Fidyk was published, telling a story of a small group of people that have managed to escape from Yodŏk camp.

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Added: Feb-14-2013 
By: Aussie
History, Other
Tags: Yodok, Concentration, Camp, North, Korea,
Location: Korea (North) (load item map)
Views: 24959 | Comments: 33 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 8 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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