Tag Archive: Shin In Keun

North Korean Survivor Shin Dong-Hyuk

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Little is known about the prison camps of North Korea where it is estimated that 200,000 are imprisoned. Many are born in the camps and generations of families are imprisoned because one of their relatives has been detained.

Shin Dong-Hyuk is one such case. He was born 26 years ago in Camp 14 in Pyeongan province, known as a ‘complete control district’, where the only sentence is life.

For most of his life all he knew was the camp, working 12 to 15-hour days mining coal, building dams or sewing military uniforms. If inmates were not executed they were killed in work-related accidents or died of an illness usually triggered by hunger.

In his own words Shin Dong-hyuk tells us about life inside one of North Korea’s notorious political prison camps, how he was tortured and how he was forced to watch his mother’s and brother’s execution.

But after the execution of his mother and brother, Shin Dong-Hyuk decided to try and escape. No one born into a North Korean prison camp has ever escaped before.

Shin escaped from the camp, leaving his father behind, in 2005. Now, he lives a new life in South Korea having discarded his original name Shin In Keun. A message to his father

Watch Anderson Cooper interview with Shin Dong-Hyuk