The Washington, D.C.-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) released a 200-page report calling for the dismantlement of a vast North Korean political prisoner camp system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.
The report, titled “Hidden Gulag: Second Edition, The Lives and Voices of "Those Who are Sent to the Mountains,” is being issued while North Korea celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the Kim dynasty, and as the country prepares to launch an Earth-orbiting satellite.
Located on the other side of the Taedong River from Kwan-li-so No. 14, Kwan-li-so No. 18 is something of an anomaly among the kwan-li-so in that it is run by the In-minbo-an-seong (People’s Safety Agency) police rather than the bo-wi-bu (National Security Agency) police34 and is a much less strict and severe prison-labor colony. But it holds some 50,000 prisoners: the families of the presumed wrongdoers imprisoned in Kwan-liso No. 14. Roughly 30,000 are organized into work teams. The other 20,000 are children and elderly relatives.