Thanks to social media and outspoken politicians, we all think we know what happens in North Korea but, when it comes down to it, we are truly clueless to the true horrors that hide behind the neatly arranged veil of the ‘hermit kingdom’. Why? Because there are very few people who ever live to tell the tale of North Korea’s regime.
Under Kim Jong-un’s reign, the citizens of North Korea are nothing more than pre-programmed machines forced to carry out hard labor. Once referred to as “the world’s most brutalized people” by Human Rights Watch, the people of North Korea are denied even a shred of political or economic freedoms.
Listen to one defector explain what life is REALLY like in North Korea…
With every aspect of daily life in North Korea planned by the state, from employment to travel, there are very few ways for the people to form a resistance. Those who have had the courage to fight back have been quickly silenced, sent to labor camps without trial and any chance of being released.
Based on satellite imagery, the human rights charity Amnesty International has estimated that there are around 200,000 prisoners held in six camps across the country, where they are forced to work in conditions akin to slavery.
For those who attempt to leave the country, the consequences are severe. Since 1953, an estimated 100,000-300,000 North Korean nationals have defected from the country, most fleeing to neighboring countries such as Russia, China and South Korea.