In honor of May Day – the world’s only surviving DPRK prison camp escapee

Workers of the World, Unite!

In honor of International World Worker’s day, I’d like to introduce you to Shin Dong-huyk, the only person (as far as we know) to survive an escape from the labor camps run by the Korean Worker’s Party:

He was born into a life of enslavement and torture inside Camp 14, where he was starved, beaten and forced to watch the executions of his mother and brother.

He existed within the camp’s concrete walls, which had no running water or furniture, until aged 23, when he escaped. He spent one month on the run before sneaking over the border into China, and eventually reaching the safety of the South Korean embassy.

… Six years on from his escape, Shin — now based in Seoul — can’t describe the worst thing about life in the camps. “Every single day was the worst possible. You live every moment under the intense fear of being beaten and the guards fault every single movement,” he recalls.

Often, the key to survival was looking after number one. Blaine Harden, the author who transcribed Shin’s story, knew his mother and brother had been executed but wasn’t sure why. During conversations, Shin referred to himself as a worthless individual and a snitch. Eventually, Shin revealed the terrible truth: he was responsible.

Aged 14, Shin overheard them discussing plans to escape. Institutionalized from birth and in exchange for food and fewer beatings, he told a school teacher. He describes feeling no emotion as he watched his mother being hanged and his brother shot — he’d been brought up to believe rules must be obeyed.

Prisoners go to desperate lengths for food: eating rats or eating their own vomit to alleviate hunger. “Everything we ate was horrendous,” says Shin. “But the worst thing was corn kernels picked out of cow dung.”

Shin was born in a labor camp and destined to live there his entire life, as the result of a teaching of Kim Il Sung: “enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations.”  Had Shin been chosen by camp officials as the recipient of a ‘reward marriage’, his children and grandchildren would also have been forced to spend their lives in a camp.

You’ll need to read the rest of this disturbing piece to learn how he escaped, how he is still dealing with the psychological scars of his imprisonment and torture, and how even the impoverished lives of “free” North Korean peasants seemed like “paradise” to him.

And the next time you see an Occupy protest or other left-wing event sponsored by International ANSWER or the World Worker’s Party, remember that these outfits stand in solidarity with the Korean Workers Party.

(Link to original story added.  I apologize for this oversight in my original post.)

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  • herddog505

    This is what humanity gets in exchance for “accomodation” and “peaceful coexistence”.

    I wonder if people in the distant future will look upon the United States in the last several decades and wonder, “The Americans might have stopped all those things… and DIDN’T???  What the hell was wrong with them???”

    • I’d give a lot to see a 5th-6th grade history textbook from 2050…

    • I’d give a lot to see a 5th-6th grade history textbook from 2050…

      • herddog505

        I fear that it will tell the children that the Party invented the airplane…

        I do sometimes wonder: is it the natural state of man to rule or be ruled?  If human history is any guide, I suggest that it is.  The Enlightenment ideal of man as free, entering into social compacts (such as government) of his own free will and for his own benefit, seems to be counter to everything in history.  Indeed, some (many?) people seem to WANT to be ruled, to have the king / the Leader / Big Brother “take care of them”.

        Is this where the world will be in 2050?

        • ackwired

          Many live in fear and base many of their decisions on fear.  I hope that enough will find the courage to take responsibility for their lives and preserve liberty.

          • Sadly, all too many are eager and willing to give up their individual responsibility in exchange for promises.  And those promises don’t even have to be acheivable – they just have to sound good, make the people think that the politician spouting actually cares for them and ‘feels their pain’.

            Well, as I’ve said before… it’ll be a lot simpler when the money runs out.

        • Liberty is always threatened and despotism is never more than a generation away unless that threat is countered.

    • jim_m

       The answer is that people in the future will look at today’s Americans like we look at the French and the Brits of the 1930’s.  The shame we bear is that after the fall of the Berlin Wall we looked the other way when confronted with sadistic totalitarian regimes.  We bought into leftist BS that we are wrong to assert as superior, what they characterize as a cultural difference.  Sorry, but I fail to see what value a culture has that holds no value on human life.

  • ackwired

    That sentence didn’t seem real clear to me.  Was he saying that Occupy supports the Korean Worker’s Party? 

    • I thought he said that he’s scared of the reality revealed by the right wing blogosphere.

      • Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, ya know.

    • jim_m

       Was he saying that Occupy supports the Korean Worker’s Party?

      Occupy is supported by a series of communist front groups. Occupy’s message is openly communist and virulently anti-capitalist.  Given that 1) Occupy is run by communists and supports communist ideology and objectives and 2) the Korean Worker’s Party is run by communists and supports communist ideology and objectives; therefor it is reasonable to conclude that Occupy supports the actions and results of the Korean Worker’s Party seeing as those actions and results are in pursuit of a goal held in common with the Occupy movement.

      • ackwired

        I think I got caught in a time warp here.  Is the year 2012 or 1952?

        • jim_m

           With OWs and obama?  More like 1984.

    • SCSIwuzzy

      He’s saying that groups that support #Occupy, like the World Workers Party support the North Korean regime.
      This does not mean all Occupods support the DPRK.  But there is significant overlap in that Venn digaram.

  • If we’re not careful, we’re going there.

  • LiberalNitemare

    I’d describe it as more of a little, noisy monster. Kind of like one of those muppets on sesame street that isn’t really important enough to get its own skits.

  • retired.military

    Gee looks like WWP and OWS have a lot in common.

    Look at the WWP home page

    and another 365k google hits of those 2 wonderful SOCIALIST organizations together struggling for the same cause.

    (google “OCCUPY wall street” and “workers world Party”)

    Seems the workers world party have plenty of info on the OWS on their webpage. They seem to be brethren in arms.

    Why not go join the struggle in NK there Grumpy. They would love to have you.

    How about an answer on that bet Grumpy Or should I jsut call you chickenshit.

    Getting discus errors again