North Korea is expanding its already extensive network of prison camps, eating up entire villages as it struggles to house hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, latest satellite images have revealed.
The secretive communist regime has built a huge ‘security perimeter’ around an existing camp restricting movement in nearby villages as part of its ‘general repression’ of its people, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said today.
The reclusive country’s network of political prison camps is believed to hold at least 200,000 people and has been the scene of rapes, torture, executions and slave labour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in January.
Analysis of new satellite images of the area near Camp No. 14 in Kaechon shows that the government is ‘blurring the lines’ between its camps and surrounding civilians, Amnesty said.
The images show that between 2006 and 2013, North Korea has constructed 20 km (12 miles) of posts around the Ch’oma-Bong valley located 70km north of Pyongyang.
The new perimeter encloses civilian villages with a series of check points and guard towers, Amnesty said in a statement voicing fears about government intentions for the valley, 70 km north of the capital Pyongyang.
‘The security and control adjacent to Camp 14 shows the degree to which general repression and restrictions on the right to liberty of movement have become commonplace in North Korea,’ said Rajiv Narayan, North Korea researcher for Amnesty.
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