Christiane Amanpour interviews Blaine Harden as part of a piece she put together on North Korea:
It’s one of Washington’s most truculent adversaries. North Korea’s nuclear tests and sharp rhetoric have raised concerns about the safety of South Korea and how the United States ought to respond. The North Koreans have even threatened to pull out of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
Yet North Korea’s harsh treatment of its own citizens – up to 200,000 people are believed to live under brutal conditions in prison camps – is often overlooked. The United Nations Human Rights Council is now considering a formal inquiry into possible crimes against humanity.
Tightly controlled images of the country show only propaganda, military drills and a people seemingly in cult-like devotion to their leader, Kim Jong-un, the scion of the political dynasty that has ruled North Korea since its establishment in 1948.
As ABC News’ digital reporter Joohee Cho reports from Seoul, his people place him on a pedestal and North Korean state television has shown citizens pledging to sacrifice their lives to protect their “eternal shining star.”
But conditions under Kim have become harsher, according to journalist and author Blaine Harden in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.
“He seems to have tightened up the border, making it harder for people to leave the country,” said Harden. “And there seems to be an expansion of the prison camps.”
The existence of the camps has been verified by satellite images with increasingly precise detail. But virtually no images or video of the prisoners have emerged, explaining partly why little attention has been paid to them. Harden described the camps as places with no exit, where prisoners are worked to death.
Shin Dong-hyuk was one of those prisoners, born and raised in a North Korean camp. Harden wrote of his life in the book “Escape from Camp 14.” To date, Shin remains the only person ever known to have escaped one of the camps. [Yahoo News]
Click the link to watch video of the interview. Anyway the human rights situation in North Korea is pretty frustrating considering modern day slavery is going on in the country right now.