Shin Dong-Hyuk is the first North Korean to be born in a Gulag to have escaped the country. His story is unique as he was in one of the camps where prisoners are there for life. (Only two camps in North Korea allow term sentences and release.)
The prison-state of North Korea has a population of about 23 million. Within the prison-state, over 200,000 North Koreans are imprisoned in the country's Gulags where executions, torture and starvation are daily events. Some estimates have this number at 300,000.
This book's value to us is that it offers some new information on the state of the North Korean regime, the support resources dedicated to the North Korean defector in South Korea and the US, and the recent changes in the North Korean society (black market, outside info getting in, corruption, etc.). Further, it points to other resources for those interested in knowing more about this horror.
Here are four books the author references:
The Aquariums of Pyongyang (already in our book list at the left)
Nothing to Envy (in the mail)
Long Road Home (in the mail)
Hidden Gulag (PDF)
Escape from Camp 14 motivated us to do a bit of housecleaning with our bookmarks on North Korea. Here are some of our links, with a couple added from the book:
One Free Korea
North Korean Economy Watch
Strategy Page (links to articles)
Blog Jam (links)
Peterson Institute for International Economics (blog)
North Korea Now (satellite photos of Gulags)
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK)
Click here for a list of links posted at The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK).
Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) has a new DVD ($20): The People's Crisis. Trailer:
Clips from movie:
The People's Crisis Preview from LiNK | Liberty in North Korea on Vimeo.