Satellite Images Show Gulags Are Still Operational In North Korea

On September 28 the DailyNK reported that the notorious Penal Labour Colony 22 in country’s northeast had been “totally shut down in June.”

But the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) compared satellite images from May 2011 and October 2012 of the colony — 87 square miles of interconnected detention facilities surrounded by an electric fence and 1,000 guards armed with machine guns — and found that the only significant change seems to be the razing of several small buildings, one of which defectors identified as a detention and interrogation facility. 

From HRNK’s new report

Nothing in the examined imagery supports the … DailyNK reports that Camp 22 was shut down or abandoned. To the contrary, the level of activity and the state of the agricultural, industrial and civil infrastructure in the area strongly suggests that the camp remains operational.

The reports ends with a blue-print for disabling and dismantling the prison labour camp system. Camp 22 holds as many as 50,000 inmates, most of whom criticised the government.

gulagHere’s the layout of the colony

Photo: HRNK

gulagCamp headquarters as of May 2011

Photo: HRNK

gulagCamp headquarters as of October 2012

Photo: HRNK

gulag

Photo: HRNK

gulag

Photo: HRNK

HRNKHere’s where prisoners are housed and make furniture

Photo: HRNK

gulag

Photo: HRNK

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