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'plugins'; // set to 1 to do garbage collection during normal process shutdown instead of wp-cron $wp_cache_shutdown_gc = 0; $wp_super_cache_late_init = 0; //Added by WP-Cache Manager // uncomment the next line to enable advanced debugging features $wp_super_cache_advanced_debug = 0; $wp_super_cache_front_page_text = ''; $wp_super_cache_front_page_clear = 0; $wp_super_cache_front_page_check = 0; $wp_super_cache_front_page_notification = '0'; $wp_cache_object_cache = 0; //Added by WP-Cache Manager $wp_cache_anon_only = 0; $wp_supercache_cache_list = 0; //Added by WP-Cache Manager $wp_cache_debug_to_file = 0; $wp_super_cache_debug = 0; $wp_cache_debug_level = 5; $wp_cache_debug_ip = ''; $wp_cache_debug_log = ''; $wp_cache_debug_email = ''; $wp_cache_pages[ "search" ] = 0; $wp_cache_pages[ "feed" ] = 0; $wp_cache_mobile_enabled = 0; //Added by WP-Cache Manager $wp_cache_cron_check = 1; //Added by WP-Cache Manager ?> The Man Who Escaped A North Korean Torture Camp. His Story Is Haunting Yet Deeply Inspiring. – Viral Circus

The Man Who Escaped A North Korean Torture Camp. His Story Is Haunting Yet Deeply Inspiring.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in Camp 14, North Korea, out of an arranged marriage between two political prisoners on good behaviour, who were allowed to have sex a few times a year. He is also the first and only known person to have escaped from a “total control zone” internment camp inside of North Korea.

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This is an ariel view of Camp 14. The North Korean government denies the existence of these labour camps (despite being able to see them even on Google), and where thousands of people are dying right now from starvation, illness, and execution.

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In these camps, women are both raped, and trade sex for more food rations. If found pregnant, they disappear. 

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Due to the conditions of these camps, which are the equivalent of a death sentence, where most people die by the age of 45, and where food is sparse, he had no emotional relationship with any of his family, and saw them as competitors for food, just like everyone else in the camp. It was encouraged to snitch on anyone and everyone in order to be beaten less frequently, and get better work detail.

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When Shin was 13, his brother and mother tried to escape the camp. Overhearing the conversation and fearing for his life (which surely would have been taken from him had he not snitched), he told a guard. He spent the next four days in prison, tortured by guards who believed they could get more information from him. According to Shin, the guards lit a charcoal fire under his back and forced a hook into his skin so that he could not struggle which caused many large scars that are still visible on his body.

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The scars from the fire

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After torture, he spent the next 7 months in prison, not knowing what was coming next. Upon being released, Shin and his father were forced to watch the public execution of his mother and brother, who had been caught 7 months prior in their escape attempt. To this day, Shin still has psychological damage from both seeing executions and atrocities, and the guilt for snitching on his family.

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Shin displaying his bowed arms from hard labour as a child

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But what needs to be understood here is that snitching was and is the way of life in these camps. They breed people into becoming emotionless, incapable of feeling love, compassion, remorse, or joy. The only true happiness, as Shin described, came from the possibility of extra food.

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And eventually, the idea of escape. Working with another prisoner who detailed to Shin what the world was outside the walls of the camp (a world which Shin, who was born in the camp, had never seen, nor dreamed of) he escaped. It was not easy.

When the guard was far enough away from the pair doing his patrol, they made a dash. The other man attempting to escape with him was immediately electrocuted at the fence line. Shin was only able to cross the fence line by climbing over the other man’s body, and still received heavy electrical current through his legs.

He estimates that he ran for two kilometres before realising how bad his wounds were. He spent the next month attempting to get to China, where in Shanghai, he was accidentally discovered by a journalist, who helped him seek asylum in the South Korean embassy.

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Today Shin lives in South Korea, where he is a human rights activist. He and his friends have said that he will not rest until everyone who is a prisoner in the labour camps in North Korea have been set free. Shin has written a memoir in Korean and had a biography written about him in English entitled “Escape From Camp 14” More people need to know about and discuss the human rights violations going on in North Korea.

The North Korean people, both inside and outside of these camps are suffering from fear and sometimes famine. “High school students in America debate why FDR didn’t bomb the rail lines to Hitler’s camps. Their children may ask, a generation from now, why the West stared at far clearer satellite images of Kim Jong Il’s camps, and did nothing.” http://www.libertyinnorthkorea.org

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Here are the rest of Shin’s haunting drawings of the camp.

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