Inside North Korea's secret gulags: Prisoners strangled to death and others so hungry they ate GRASS in 200-square mile complex for 20,000 inmates

Chilling testimony from a former guard at one of North Korea's notorious prison camps has revealed the shocking cruelties and deprivation the inmates face.
The man, known only as 'Lee' to prevent reprisals against his family, was a guard at Prison camp No16, also known as Hwasong camp, where 20,000 political prisoners live.
Thousands have died or disappeared after being sent to the 200-square mill hellhole.
Lee watched one man get murdered by two soldiers. The prisoner was first questioned by a man at a desk and then ordered to leave through a door at the back of the room.

Brutal: Life in the totalitarian North Korean camps has been laid bare by a former guard (not pictured)

Hell on Earth: A former prison guard at Camp 16 in North Korea has spoken of the horrifying scenes he witnessed there

The complex covers 200 square miles and is home to 20,000 prisoners
Behind the door was a pair of men, one of whom had a rubber cord. One wrapped it around the prisoner's neck while the other tightened it.
He told The People: 'I can still see his face. I'll remember it until I die.'
The prisoner's body was then thrown into a hole at the back of the room - joining many other corpses in there.
Some of the prisoners were high-ranking politicians who had displeased North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un and sent to the camps, along with their families.
'They would be stripped of their possessions and then split up. They would never see each other again.'

Menacing: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un should face international justice for a catalogue of appalling crimes against humanity, UN investigators said yesterday. Above, a woman soldier at a camp in North Korea

U.N. investigators have warned North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and mass killings

It has emerged that North Korean prison guards use inmates as punchbags. Pictured is a North Korean soldier kicking a pole along the bank of Yalu River near Sinuiju
Another grisly execution method Lee heard about was prisoners being forced to dig holes in a field. They were then told to stand on the edge before being hit on the back of a head with a hammer.
Guards bragged to each other about the sadistic ways they had dispatched their terrified and helpless victims.
Prisoners had to walk seven miles to work in -25C conditions. Starvation was rife and the prisoners were often worked to death. Many ate grass, rats, snakes and even ants in a desperate bid to stay alive.
He says he never joined in with torture or murder, but admits he didn't feel guilty because of the extensive brainwashing personnel underwent.

Each of the drawings comes with a title or description in Korean. This one reads: 'In this position, called "pigeon torture" prisoners are reportedly beaten on the chest until the vomit blood'

One of the drawings by Kim Kwang-il, simply titled 'Detention center' seems to depict a guard forcing a prisoner into a small opening in a wall

'Scale, airplane, motorcycle.' Survivors told the U.N. that they had to stay in stress positions until the collapsed
Last week, the United Nations published a 374-page report on the atrocities to which the people of North Korea are subjected under the despotic regime of Kim Jong-Un.
Startling testimonies from those who have escaped the totalitarian regime laid bare the extent of human rights abuses in the country.
Those who compiled the report describe North Korea as a ‘shock to the conscience of humanity’ and a place ‘that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world’.
Their report states: ‘In the political prison camps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the inmate population has been gradually eliminated through deliberate starvation, forced labour, executions, torture, rape and . . . forced abortion and infanticide.’
In an unprecedented step, the head of the investigating panel, retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, has written to the 31-year-old North Korean dictator, warning him that he and his senior officials could one day face being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity.

This drawing depicts prisoners foraging among live wild animals. In the Korean description: 'out of starvation and hunger, find snakes and rats and you eat them'

Drawings of corpses being left in the gulag: 'The mice eat the eyes, nose, ears, and toes of the corpses'
Since 1948, the country has been ruled by the Kim family. When Kim Il-Sung took power he subjected North Korea to his own brand of hardline Communism combined with the most extreme personality cult.
His son, Kim Jong-Il and grandson Kim Jong-Un have maintained the regime.
The result has been decades of famine, poverty and state-sponsored brutality.
The people have been brainwashed to worship their ‘Dear Leader’ despite the physical privations and mental tortures they have suffered.

Labour: One former prisoner says pregnant women were forced to do strenuous labour to force miscarriages

A satellite view of Political Prison Camp 15 in Yodok, North Korea. It is believed the prison camp is growing

A satellite image of a camp in Haengyong, North Korea. A UN report into the prison camps contains harrowing testimony from former inmates
The report makes for gruesome reading. It is particularly chilling to note that even the slightest of infringements can see a person locked up for decades.
One man was sent to prison for absent-mindedly using a newspaper printed with a photograph of Kim Jong-Il to mop up a spilled drink.
According to another of the 80 witnesses who testified to the UN, a member of a hospital staff was investigated by State Security for accidentally breaking a portrait of Kim Il-sung while she was cleaning it.

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