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(937117)

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Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be "paradise"

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Apr 30 13:28:40 2012

This fellow, Shin Dong-Huyk, was born in one of those prison camps. We really should have crushed the Kim regime in the early 50s, and anyone who thinks otherwise after reading this has no heart. Kim Jong-un and all the North Korean military and prison guards should be forced to endure the kind of conditions they impose on prison camp victims until their demise.

London Evening Standard

I thought the outside world was paradise, says the only North Korean to escape from prison camp

Shin Dong-Huyk tells Tamara Hinson of his mission to highlight the 200,000 others he left behind

Tamara Hinson
30 April 2012
Shin Dong-huyk is 29 years old. He loves Mexican food and going to baseball games. But any similarities between Shin and other young men ends there. Shin Dong-huyk is the only person known to have escaped from a North Korean prison camp. He was born into a life of enslavement and torture inside Camp 14, where he was starved, beaten and forced to watch the executions of his mother and brother.

He existed within the camp’s concrete walls, which had no running water or furniture, until aged 23, he escaped. He spent one month on the run before sneaking over the border into China, and eventually reaching the safety of the South Korean embassy.

Last month, a book about his life — Escape from Camp 14 — was published, taking its place at the top of the bestseller lists. I met him in London as he prepared to speak at a House of Commons meeting to raise awareness about North Korean prisoners.

Six years on from his escape, Shin — now based in Seoul — can’t describe the worst thing about life in the camps. “Every single day was the worst possible. You live every moment under the intense fear of being beaten, and the guards fault every single movement,” he recalls.

Often, the key to survival was looking after number one. Blaine Harden, the author who transcribed Shin’s story, knew his mother and brother had been executed but wasn’t sure why. During conversations, Shin referred to himself as a worthless individual and a snitch. Eventually, Shin revealed the terrible truth: he was responsible.

Aged 14, Shin overheard them discussing plans to escape. Institutionalized from birth and in exchange for food and fewer beatings, he told a school teacher. He describes feeling no emotion as he watched his mother being hanged and his brother shot — he’d been brought up to believe rules must be obeyed.

Prisoners go to desperate lengths for food: eating rats or eating their own vomit to alleviate hunger. “Everything we ate was horrendous,” says Shin. “But the worst thing was corn kernels picked out of cow dung.”

His father, whose fate is unknown, became a prisoner for being the brother of two young men who fled south during the Korean war. What is known is that Kim Il Sung had his own interpretation of the power of three, stating that “enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations”. His mother’s name was Jang Hye Gyung. She never told her son why she was imprisoned.

Shin’s conception had been arranged by the guards. They chose his mother and father, Shin Gyung Sub, as prizes for each other in a “reward” marriage. The couple were allowed to sleep together for five nights and then Shin’s father was allowed to visit his family only a few times a year. Their eldest son, Shin He Geun, was born in 1974, Shin arrived eight years later.

Park Yong Chul was a well-traveled North Korean who’d enjoyed a life of relative luxury before arriving at Camp 14 in 2004. Shin was instructed to befriend Park — and extract a confession. Through him, Shin learned about the existence of other countries, televisions, computers but mostly, he learned about food. Park described chicken, pork and beef, leading Shin to make his first free decision: he chose not to snitch on Park, instead hatching a plan for them to escape together. “Hearing about the food he’d eaten in the outside world was the main trigger,” recalls Shin. “I wanted to eat that kind of food — things unimaginable within the camp.”

Park was electrocuted during the escape as he squeezed through the electric fence. Shin suffered only burns, a small price after years of torture. His body bears many scars — his finger was chopped off by guards who also stuck a hook through his stomach and suspended him over a fire.

Why don’t more people escape? “People don’t know about the outside world. There’s also the systematic brainwashing — ‘I’ve been born as a criminal, I have to live as a criminal until I die and that’s my fate’.”

“When I was hospitalized in South Korea with psychiatric problems, I considered suicide once or twice. But I thought about how I’d escaped and been through such difficult times, and decided I should live on.” This mental illness was due to the new-found guilt he felt over his mother and brother. “That guilt will last until my death,” he adds.

Shin’s response to the outside world shows just how institutionalized he’d become. “The most shocking moment came the day after I escaped and saw North Korean society for the first time. I thought it was paradise! People were walking around without guards. This was the moment that changed my understanding of the world.” He couldn’t believe how the impoverished North Korean villagers lived; how they moved freely without being beaten.

Shin doesn’t tell his story for himself. “It’s not therapeutic,” he admits. “I want the camps eradicated — that’s my driving force. I urge people to sign petitions and write to MPs, and keep raising the human rights issue. Holding talks and events will put pressure on the North Korean government.”

When Shin spoke at the meeting in the House of Commons it was also his first visit to our capital. “I love what I’ve seen so far — especially the House of Commons, which is one of the most stunning buildings I’ve come across.”

Campaigners like him want the world to know while other conflicts take centre stage, North Korea goes about expanding its prison camps — satellite images show several have grown dramatically in recent years. It’s estimated that up to 200,000 people are held within them, and Shin feels it’s his mission to highlight the suffering of those he left behind. “People often take an interest only once something horrible has happened, such as the Holocaust. I want the world to know what’s happening because that same thing could easily happen there. What’s the point in doing something afterwards? I see raising awareness as my responsibility.”

What are his hopes for the future? “I can’t even predict what will happen in one year’s time,” he says. “Of course I have hope that in 10 years’ time people will no longer starve to death, that they’ll be better off and that one day I’ll be able to return. But that’s wishful thinking.”


(937122)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by AlM on Mon Apr 30 13:39:00 2012, in response to Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be "paradise", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Apr 30 13:28:40 2012.

We really should have crushed the Kim regime in the early 50s, and anyone who thinks otherwise after reading this has no heart.

We tried and failed.


(937157)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Rockparkman on Mon Apr 30 15:10:41 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by AlM on Mon Apr 30 13:39:00 2012.

That idiot must have forgot about the Korean War.

(937170)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by 3-9 on Mon Apr 30 15:45:15 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by AlM on Mon Apr 30 13:39:00 2012.

Crush North Korea would have been (and is) a little difficult considering Big Brother China. Any certainly China doesn't give a rat's ass about the people in NK, just so long as they have their buffer zone.

(937173)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by ClearAspect on Mon Apr 30 15:49:35 2012, in response to Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be "paradise", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Apr 30 13:28:40 2012.

At this point China will not allow North Korea to falter because it doesn't want to be surrounded by US allies on all sides. North Korea is the only buffer they have, and they think they can keep a leash on them. If we rengage with North Korea the shear amount of collateral damage would be insane. The US wasn't interested in protecting the South Korean people they just cared about stopping communism, as long as communism stopped the US achieved its goal. Now we have a monkey on our back and for the moment we can't do anything about it.

(937319)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by grand concourse on Mon Apr 30 23:34:07 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by 3-9 on Mon Apr 30 15:45:15 2012.

+1

(937320)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by grand concourse on Mon Apr 30 23:36:33 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by ClearAspect on Mon Apr 30 15:49:35 2012.

Wasn't there some growing anti-US sentiment in South Korea lately? If not for the sinking of the SK ship and the NK missile launches, SK probably wouldn't want the US around.

(937324)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:09:06 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by 3-9 on Mon Apr 30 15:45:15 2012.

Crush North Korea would have been (and is) a little difficult considering Big Brother China

No guts, no glory. The weaker you look, the harder they laugh.

(937326)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Spider-Pig on Tue May 1 00:11:00 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:09:06 2012.

LOL!



(937328)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Fred G on Tue May 1 00:16:40 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Spider-Pig on Tue May 1 00:11:00 2012.

LOL!! +1

your pal,
Fred

(937329)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:16:57 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Spider-Pig on Tue May 1 00:11:00 2012.

Wrong photo for your caption (see below for right photo). And since when do you get to be CIC from there—and have you served? (I'm too old and 4F, sorry.)



(937332)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Spider-Pig on Tue May 1 00:20:17 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:16:57 2012.

Of course. Like all cowards you feel comfortable declaring the "need" for any sort of war because you know you'll never have to fight it. In ancient Sparta you'd rightly be killed.

(937336)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Fred G on Tue May 1 00:34:36 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:16:57 2012.

(I'm too old and 4F, sorry.)



your pal,
Fred

(937344)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by SelkirkTMO on Tue May 1 00:52:17 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:16:57 2012.

Geez ... times have changed, bro. Hasn't the German-republican Bund explained to you how things get done today? You don't need to join the Army anymore, you just put on a different uniform ... and there's no age or health limits anymore ...



Need help wiring it up?

(937353)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by WillD on Tue May 1 03:51:32 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by ClearAspect on Mon Apr 30 15:49:35 2012.

I would suspect a war with the North would actually remain relatively well contained. What regional allies they have in Russia and China cannot afford to actively support them as they might have 30 years ago. Those allies that would stand by them are geographically removed from them and unable to project power. They can cause trouble in their own respect and make things very difficult for us, but they would be unlikely to play a significant role in the outcome of a conflict on the Korean peninsula.

That's not to say there wouldn't be collateral damage. Seoul is nearly within range of NK heavy artillery on the DMZ and would be shelled from the first day of the war. But even with a million man army I have a hard time believing North Korea's army of the 1970s, still built around the Soviet doctrines that let the Iraqis down so famously in 1991, would stand much of a chance against our army which is still fully capable of performing the 'strikebreaker' mission against Soviet armored divisions pouring through the Fulda Gap into West Germany. It'd be messy, but it's highly unlikely the North Koreans would come out on the winning side, and they have to know that.

Much more important than the war itself is the aftermath. More than likely the Chinese and South Koreans in particular would rather not have an enormous humanitarian crisis and power vacuum on their hands once the Kims are gone and we're left picking up the pieces. The US is in no position to provide the requisite care for the millions of starving and oppressed yet nearly brainwashed inhabitants of North Korea. If Japan has any sense of dignity they'll help out, since this really is their fault in the end, but they'll probably handle things at arms length.

So really it's gonna come down to South Korea and maybe China caring for whatever refugees are left in North Korea when their government's house of cards comes crashing down, whether by warfare or other means. With both nations' economies riding high they have to be looking at the abrupt end of the West German miracle in 1991, and more recently the mess Saddam made of the Iraqi economy (and there they had oil income!), and fearing what economic horrors are being perpetrated right alongside the humanitarian crisis.

Ultimately we have the means to remove North Korea's leaders from power. But far more important than establishing air supremacy, winning the ground war, and even occupying the country would be establishing the long term stability of the country. We would inevitably be drawn into nation-building in a country where the populace has been conditioned to regard themselves as morally superior to all outsiders.

All that having been said, the most likely and, unfortunately, probably the happiest outcome for the people stuck in North Korea is for the Chinese to bump off Kim Jong-Un before he can have a kid and install their own puppet leader.

(937373)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by JayMan on Tue May 1 07:39:34 2012, in response to Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be "paradise", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Apr 30 13:28:40 2012.

As been pointed out to you, we tried and failed, thanks to China. And because of the Chinese, we can't try again.

Mind you, South Korea was a dictatorship up until 1988. Not particularly worlds better.

Toppling the Kim regime isn't worth the lives, the chaos, or the money it would cost.

(937399)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by SMAZ on Tue May 1 08:41:08 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by JayMan on Tue May 1 07:39:34 2012.

Toppling the Kim regime isn't worth the lives, the chaos, or the money it would cost.

It is to Olog as long as others are doing the fighting and dying.


(937400)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by SMAZ on Tue May 1 08:42:30 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 1 00:09:06 2012.

No guts, no glory. The weaker you look, the harder they laugh.



(937401)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by SMAZ on Tue May 1 08:42:45 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Spider-Pig on Tue May 1 00:11:00 2012.

heh!

(937606)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by orange blossom special on Tue May 1 17:47:44 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by SMAZ on Tue May 1 08:41:08 2012.

You make a good point. As citizens of the world(per BHO), we should tell the world to go f--- itself, I'm too fat and lazy in my SUV to care about humanity.

(937607)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by orange blossom special on Tue May 1 17:49:24 2012, in response to Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be "paradise", posted by Olog-hai on Mon Apr 30 13:28:40 2012.

This guy should be on a free speaking tour to warn our brainwashed youth about what those camps that Nobama and his buddies wanted to set up here would be like.

(939483)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by Dan Lawrence on Mon May 7 21:17:27 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by orange blossom special on Tue May 1 17:49:24 2012.

Proff, please.

(939486)

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Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise''

Posted by SMAZ on Mon May 7 21:20:04 2012, in response to Re: Sole North Korean prison camp escapee found outside world to be ''paradise'', posted by Dan Lawrence on Mon May 7 21:17:27 2012.

Do you realize that you clicked on an OBS post?


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