North Korean Gulags

Blaine Harden’s lengthy expose on the gulags in North Korea ran in the Washington Post more than a month ago. When I first read it, I felt certain that the story would get picked up internationally and make headlines, especially coming soon after the Euna Lee and Laura Ling saga. Alas, the story ran and there’s been little follow-up.  There are believed to be 200,000 prisoners being held at the forced labor camps. Most die of malutrition by the time they are fifty-years old. There is no public outcry partly because there are no pictures and no outsiders have ever visited. Harden explains that the issue is on the “diplomatic back burner.” He goes on…

“Nor have the camps become much of an issue for the American public, even though annotated images of them can be quickly called up on Google Earth and even though they have existed for half a century, 12 times as long as the Nazi concentration camps and twice as long as the Soviet Gulag. Although precise numbers are impossible to obtain, Western governments and human groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of people have died in the North Korean camps.”

See for yourself the Google Earth maps, read Harden’s article, and learn more about life and death in the prison camps here.