Reporter: What kind of work did you do?
Woman: In my case, my family could bribe [a government officer], so I was only assigned a relatively easy labor.  Nevertheless, now my face is completely black like “kotchebi”, homeless people, since I was forced to farm. I needed to spend lots of money [for bribery and other purposes] after taken into the camp.

Reporter: Do inmates get beaten up?
Woman: Yes.  Since inmates were not considered as human beings, they were beaten up like a dog.  Women had to endure only for the first few days while men suffered for the whole period in the camp.  Being in a more miserable state than women, some men had their legs broken, ended up having a physical disability.
Related article: <Inside N.Korea> Hunt for defectors resumed

The North Korean authority has frequently mobilized citizens for various kinds of volunteering works, political indoctrinations, and events.  For example, the “70 days speed battle” attempted to increase productivity in the short term in the run up to the congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in May, the first congress in 36 years.  North Korea also carried out a nuclear test early in this year.  It has been widely reported that the state authority harshly cracked down on those who did not follow the mobilization order, skipped work, and violated the dress code by wearing a capitalistic cloth.  The number of inmates in labor training camps has drastically increased because the Kim Jong-un regime has tightened control over its people.

Women at a labor training camp big stones on their heads for a river bank construction. June 2013 in a Northern local city. Taken by ASIAPRESS>


Related Article
<Inside N.Korea> Enforced Mobilization of Unemployed and No-Show Employees to Farm
<Inside N. Korea> Kotchebi, the Homeless, Under the Kim Jong-un Regime
<Inside N. Korea> Market survey shows “Resolution 2270”, the toughest-ever sanctions, didn’t work

rimjingang_banner001Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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