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The Concentration Camps

North Koreans slaving away in one of the camps.

Another rope holding the oppressive government of North Korea in power is the brutal punishment. All over North Korea are located “labor camps”, which are basically just concentration camps, where North Korean “political prisoners” are held. Political prisoners are anyone in the country that criticize the government or are “suspected” of criticizing the government. Because the government rewards “loyal” citizens, though, people are constantly turning each other in falsely to seem loyal. One of the worst things about it is, when one person is charged, they don’t just charge that single person, the officials of North Korea will arrest that person’s entire family a generation above and a generation below if possible. They claim they must “cleanse” the problem. This leads to terrible over crowding in the camps.

The camps themselves are horrendous places where survival is a battle against starvation. People eat things like rats, frogs, snakes, insects, and even their own feces in order to survive. In the account of a man who escaped one of the camps and North Korea he reported of the terrible living conditions. Families in the camps are forced to turn on each other for food to live. Blaine Harden wrote a book of the man that escapes account on his life in the camp. The following link talks about the book if you’re interested. http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/06/life-in-a-north-korean-labor-camp/

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West - by Blaine Harden.

A Cult of Personality

Portraits like this have been found in nearly every building and home in North Korea.  Undercover cameras have witnessed people paying their respects to them on a daily basis.

Amazingly enough, despite all of the oppression North Koreans undergo, most of the population loves their government. This is due to a cult-like love that has been instilled into the minds of North Koreans for their leader, Kim Jong-un. The people of North Korea refer to their leaders by titles such as “The Great Leader.” It is known that every home in North Korea is required to have a picture of their leader, as is every office.  The people of North Korea worship Kim Jong-un with unrelenting passion. I once watched a documentary on North Korea in which people received eye surgeries removing cataracts. Every time someone had the operation finished, they would walk up to a giant picture of Kim Jong-il, the leader at the time, and put their hands in the air and thank him with much emotion. Then the people behind that person would also all join together in saying thank you to the portrait of the leader. Some people even became so filled with emotion that they broke down in tears. The extent of the brainwashing done to North Koreans is so great that they don’t even question their living conditions. They are told that their leader is doing great things for them and that all troubles are caused by America and other countries who denounce North Korea. The link below goes to a website showing an example with how North Korea responded to the of death of Kim Jong-il.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4024284/Two-day-funeral-ofbr-Kim-Jong-il-begins.html

North Koreans crying at the funeral of their “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il. Who died in 2011.

The Hunger of a Nation

A small North Korean child is forced to scrape crumbs from the earth to survive. This is a common sight in North Korea.

Government oppression in North Korea has led to the starvation of millions. The country has one of the worst living conditions in the world with hunger being a large part of it. The international community is hesitant to help because of the North Korean government’s handling. A large portion of this starvation is due to the government spending a majority of its money on military and nuclear programs. Foreign aid has slowed down because it has become aware that the government is spending this aid on things besides food. It was reported in 2011 that over six million people in North Korea needed food aid. Also a third of the children population is chronically malnourished. I’ve added a link below with more information on the subject of the hunger problem in North Korea.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/crisis-centre/crisis/north-korea-hunger

North Korea: Nazi Germany 2.0

North Koreans marching in a parade in Pyongyang

North Korea today resembles Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s. The only difference is the persecution and turmoil that was shared by minorities of Germany is shared by almost all citizens in North Korea. North Koreans live in constant fear of their government and have no freedoms. Speaking out against the government could land one’s entire family in one of the multiple work camps. These camps resemble concentration camps without the gas chambers. The people of North Korea need the help of the United Nations and anyone who has a heart to liberate them from this tragedy.