"I escaped a North Korean prison camp" - Shin Dong-hyuk's Survivor Story

Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Kaechon #14, one of the world's harshest labor camps. His parents were political prisoners, declared enemies of the state for having committed minor offenses against the North Korean regime. Shin was routinely subjected to torture and knew nothing of the outside world until his escape at the age of 23.

Today he is on a mission to tell the world his story. And to remind us of the estimated 200,000 other forced laborers currently languishing under the regime of Kim Jong-un.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the people of North Korea didn't want prison camps, then maybe they shouldn't keep voting the Kims into office.

    Or, alternately, fuck you, communism.

  • ||

    "Voting"?

  • juris imprudent||

    +1 for appropriate use of scare quotes

  • ||

    I saw them more as skepticism quotes, myself.

  • db||

    North Korea's incumbent re-seating rate is only slightly higher than our here in the U.S...

  • ||

    Their termination procedures for defeated incumbents -- mortar shells and whatnot -- are somewhat harsher than here in the U.S.

    Though there are some incumbents in Congress whose voting records would be vastly improved by having a mortar shell dropped on them.

  • wareagle||

    and how many in the media's leftist tribe will draw any comparison, even a slight one, between the ultimate extension of state power and the incremental growth of it that we see.

  • iggy||

    Christopher Hitchens once said that North Korea looked like someone read 1984 and decided to put the ideas into practice, point by point.

    I miss Hitchens. He had the distinction of being both the last honest leftist AND the last honest Neocon.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Rest assured that he's in a better place right now.

    The ground.

  • sloopyinca||

    "No more yanky my wanky. The Donger need food!"

    Just kidding. But in all seriousness, our baby is here. Doc said it went just great. Her lung function is 100% normal, which is always the concern with an omphalocele.

    Anyway, we're in recovery. Kara is numb but upbeat and the NICU doc is telling us things couldn't have gone any better if they had scripted it. Thanks to everyone, for all your kind words and prayers. I know it made a big difference to both all three of us.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Congrats on the new bundle of joy, Ken.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Congrats to you and your family. Name???

  • General Butt Naked||

    He told you, it's Omphalocele. Sounds southern.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    bidding is still open. I am lobbying for Zena

  • Almanian.||

    Fiona! I always wanted that for my first daughter, and my wife woudn't let me :-(

    Wouldn't let me name our son Angus, either.

    bitch

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I totally took advantage of my drugged up wife (She had 3 mains at one point, so I know what sloop is going through) and got the name I wanted for ours...I will be paying for that for quite some time.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Grats, man. Remember to bottle some of that new baby smell before it goes away.

  • Almanian.||

    Yes - this is a very good point. "They grow up so fast" doesn't even begin to describe it.

    And new-baby smell? Mmmmmm :)

  • Chloe||

    Congrats:)

  • Brutus||

    Congratulations to you and Banjos, Sloop.

  • Almanian.||

    Congratulations! May you have at least two more and never know a full night's sleep until they're all well into their teens!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Congratulations. How long does the kid have to be in NICU?

  • sloopyinca||

    Looks like about two months if all goes well.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    My daughter had to be in NICU for 3 weeks and it drove me crazy. My thoughts are with you.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thanks. Yeah, that part sucks. Especially since they won't even let siblings or grandparents in there due to flu season. We're gonna have a lot of pissed off family when they all get here and can't even see her. Oh well, it's not about them anyway.

    Damn, I'm all loaded up on caffeine and adrenaline right now.

  • Almanian.||

    NICU is why I raise a shit ton on money for March of Dimes every year. The stuff they've done is amazing.

    Hope your little one is out sooner than expected!

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Mazel Tov! Omedetoo! Excellent news. May she emerge strong and feisty.

  • DEG||

    Great news! Congratulations!

  • ||

    Congrats Sloop. Pass it on to Kara.

  • mr simple||

    Congrats, sloopy. Hope everything progresses well.

  • RyanXXX||

    Congrats Man! Best of luck to all you guys (make sure to raise her Libertarian though, dammit)

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Congratulations. Very happy for you.

  • GILMORE||

    Giving birth is a lot like escaping from a North Korean prison camp.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Congratulations, sir.

    Have a seven year-old daughter myself.

    Welcome to the Wiserhood.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Well now, let me ask the most IMPORTANT question. Do the women have access to safe and effective birth control? Are they informed of their reproductive rights? Do the have the right to choose about their own bodies?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yes, and it's provided free of charge by the single payer health scheme*. If only we could be so enlightened!

    *or starvation, the terrible, terrible starvation

  • Mykeuva||

    Reminds me of this video of occupy wall streeters interviewed.... The lady at 2:20 discussing the difference between north and South Korea always gets me:

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v.....D5luu_UTzc

  • General Butt Naked||

    I can't watch it. Is it for mobile only?

  • ||

    Remove the "m." at the beginning of the url.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Thanks, worked fine.

    That redheaded dude needs punched, not my me as I'm a pacifist but by someone else who isn't, or something.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's puke-inducing. I couldn't take more than few rolling eyes from that dingbat who thinks North Korea is a worker's paradise.

    And all those "protestors" lolling about, waiting for the world to come to its senses and give them more free stuff.

    Gag me, they did.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The dumb shit woman says that under socialism 5% of the world's population won't consume 25% of its resources, which assuming that she's correct (she's not) means that us standards of living would drop by 80%. And the dumb cunt thinks that will be good for her.

  • Sernylan||

    "And the dumb cunt thinks that will be good for her."

    And take comfort in the fact that she would be one of the first to be marched up against the wall, and rat-tat-tat...justice

  • Seanin||

    And 5% of the world's population won't make 25%+ of the cool shit everybody wants, either. Enjoy your paradise!

  • trig||

    "You're an exile, you're one of those rich people they threw out of the country because you were robbing the people."

    Ever read the Sword of Truth series? The way that guy talks reminds me of book 6.

  • Almanian.||

    Do the women have access to safe and effective birth control?

    Yes. Except those named Banjos. They serve as breeders to create more worker bees.

  • Paul.||

    Do the women have access to safe and effective birth control? Are they informed of their reproductive rights? Do the have the right to choose about their own bodies?

    Yes.

    Yes.

    No.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Future Headline: "I escaped a US prison camp" - where I was forced to watch Dancing with the Stars while building batteries for the glorious people's car.

  • XM||

    South Koreans are surprisingly sympathetic to communism / socialism and their fascist northern brethren. Kim Jong Un and his murderous parents are stuff of gossip in Korea. Meanwhile they sure do hate Japan with a passion.

    South Koreans can be MAJOR douche bags, I can't stand some of them, even though I am one. I don't relish the thought of them waltzing over here to empower the democrats.

    Oh, and Gangnam Style - Why. I mean, really, why.

  • ||

    Oh, and Gangnam Style - Why. I mean, really, why.

    By this you mean, South Korea's second redeeming factor?

  • Almanian.||

    This

    Fucking Gangnam Style is the only thing I like about South Korea most days.

    Cause...Kia.

    *shudder*

  • XM||

    What's the difference between Gangnam Style and "Friday" by Rebecca Black? Precious little. Catchy / gimmicky tune, no substance. I actually understand what he's singing about, and it ain't meaningful satire or "social commentary" on Gangnam District or anywhere.

    If you don't buy Korean cars, the American unions win.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If you don't buy Korean cars, the American unions win.

    Yeah, but if you don't play Starcraft, I win.

  • XM||

    It's racist to suggest that Koreans are addicted to online games. No wonder Obama won!

  • Almanian.||

    The difference is that Gangnam Style is AWESOME, while Friday sucks.

    Duh!

    Yeah - Hyundai are leaps and bounds better - fully competitive. Kia - still not so much. Same company, I know - different brands.

  • XM||

    "The difference is that Gangnam Style is AWESOME"

    OH NO, not this site too.

  • Generic Stranger||

    It's so bad it's good.

  • injanear||

    Hey, Kia/Hyundai now make great cars. Plus they employ most of my PWT family around the Columbus GA area.

  • ||

    Plus they employ most of my PWT family around the Columbus GA area.

    Thanks to gubmint subsidies...

  • Agreenweed||

    Kia and Hyundai appear to have come leaps and bounds from where they were previously. That said, I haven't owned one, so I don't consider myself an expert on it by any means.

  • injanear||

    They did what VW, Honda, Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) did...they offered cheap fuel efficient vehicles to gain market share...now they are engineering competitive reliable vehicles. Just following the play book. Oh and they wisely stayed away from Union States. The Deep South is the new Detroit these days.

  • ||

    Test drive a Hyundai Genesis Sedan. It's a sweet ride.

    Rented one when I was at the LP convention in Vegas, and didn't want to turn it back in.

  • ||

    Hyundai makes some great cars for less than the Japanese brands.

    For that alone, all should be forgiven.

  • Rhywun||

    I am blissfully unaware of what that is - and wish to remain so. I have only heard it mentioned here many times.

  • John C. Randolph||

    It's basically the Korean macarena.

    -jcr

  • Rhywun||

    *shudder*

  • Sevo||

    "Meanwhile they sure do hate Japan with a passion."

    Japan gained a great rep 'bout mid 20th century and to this day refuses to admit it did anything wrong.
    I'd be a bit pissed, too.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    They and the Germans are a world class experiment: one nation was ashamed of what they did, and grew up and matured. The other said "who, me?" and ignored it, and now it has come back and bitten them in the ass.

    Both had some legitimate complaints (Treaty of Versailles, white racism) but neither acted in any rational manner to actually correct the situation.

  • Sevo||

    I was given a 'paper' several years back, written by a Japanese MD, who was certainly no idiot.
    The paper claimed the Bataan 'death march' was caused by Japanese vehicles breaking down, causing the prisoners to walk, and a lack of rations.
    I didn't read it until after we had parted, so I didn't have the chance to laugh in his face.

  • Calidissident||

    Gangnam Style removed Justin Bieber from having the top spot on Youtube's most watched videos. For that alone, I am grateful

  • Brutus||

    I can't even imagine what this vile ingrate is complaining about. The government gives him free food, free education, free housing and even top-notch gun control and his still bitching about some vague, outmoded idea of liberty and human rights?

    /T o n y

  • Being Waterboarded||

    That is worth at least one free internet, sir...

  • juris imprudent||

    Cheap bastard, 2.0 internets at least.

  • Mensan||

    OT: More proof that there is no free market in health care.

    Four not-for-profit hospitals that operate urban trauma centers won a victory Friday when a Florida appellate court struck down a state administrative rule that had authorized competing trauma centers at for-profit hospitals ...
    The not-for-profits oppose the centers at for-profit hospitals. They contend the competition would siphon off patients, compete for staff and worsen the already strained financial conditions of the not-for-profits ...

    They don't even pretend that they have some more noble intention. They just come right out and say that they don't want competition, and the government goes right along with it.

  • juris imprudent||

    The govt doesn't want competition either - it all makes perfect sense.

  • Bam!||

    The guy's on "60 Minutes" and said that he defines freedom as choosing what you eat. Too bad New Yorkers don't have that freedom.

  • Agreenweed||

    I have read his book, it was very interesting.

  • waaminn||

    Those guys really seem to know what is going on over there. Wow.

    www.Mask-Dat-IP.tk

  • Cliché Bandit||

    OT: But even when no guns are involved the media seem to always sensationalize the weapon used. Check out this murder suicide in Wyoming

    Seriously, if I killed someone with a pencil the story would read "Man commits murder with dangerous mechanical pencil. Commonly used to write strong and inflammatory words."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    He had smuggled the compound bow — a type much more powerful and effective for hunting than a simple, wooden bow — onto campus beneath a blanket, Walsh said.

    He said Christopher Krumm also had two knives with him, and the knife used was "very large."

    ZOMG! We must ban high-powered "compound" bows now! And "very large" knives!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    If this kind of crap wasn't so dangerous to my freedom I would find its prevalence amusing.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Also, having taking the red pill many years ago, my sense of superiority has faded into a sense of dread akin to that of Cassandra.

  • Xenocles||

    I bet your mechanical pencil has a high capacity lead magazine.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    OT: Hey, remember that Arizona S.S. office bombing a few days back? Remember how HuffPo and folks were just chomping at the bit for a bit of Angry White Guy Right-Wing Terrorism? Notice how the story quickly disappeared down the memory hole? That's because the bomber turned out to be a certain Iraqi refugee by the name of Abdullatif A. Aldosary. As a bonus, the FBI is not charging him with "terrorism" because the "future belongs to him", you see.

  • Sevo||

    OK, now consider this:
    YOU are born in a concentration camp, where people are routinely tortured, starved and just plain killed. That's where you grow up, and you know nothing else except perhaps rumors that people live in circumstances quite different from that. You don't see TV, nor do you read a newspaper or magazine, nor hear a radio. The web? Ha! Rumors, nothing more and no hint about how you might end up in that place.
    Now, again, think about if YOU were in that circumstance...
    WIH gave this guy enough gumption to even attempt an escape?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    WIH gave this guy enough gumption to even attempt an escape?

    According to his biography, in the camp he made friends with an older man...I think he was in the government but made the wrong enemy, anyway, this guy told tales of the outside world, including the alien concepts of "beef," "pork," and "chicken". After deciding he had enough of weeds and rat meat, he planned his escape.

  • Sevo||

    I'll put the book on the wish list (too close to Xmas to buy anything)
    I like the reference to weeds and rat-meat; in WWII Paris, it was called 'roof rabbit'. And eaten.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    According to 60 Minutes that guy was electrocuted while trying to escape with Shin Dong.

    It was a stellar 60 Minutes. The Medicare fraud at HMA and a solar-powered plane that will circle the Earth in 20 days/nights soon. Test flights are up to 72 hours now.

    Solar is real despite claims to the contrary.

  • Sevo||

    "Solar is real despite claims to the contrary."

    Yeah, dipshit, whatever you say....

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Yup, 12 hours a day, on average, minus weather allowances.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It flies at night too.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 12.2.12 @ 10:09PM |#
    "It flies at night too."

    Dipshit, do you think the folks here don't recognize cherry picking? How stupid are you?
    Yes, it flies at night, so long as the day wasn't cloudy, so long as the batteries didn't 'wear out', so long as...
    Yes, dipshit, we've gotten that you're an ignoramus hoping others might be as stupid as you.
    Hint: Most people here aren't.

  • iggy||

    If, when you say 'solar is real,' you mean 'solar power is a thing that exists,' then yes. If you mean 'solar is a feasible replacement for fossil fuels,' then no.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    They're not fossil fuels. They're abiotic.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I was referring to the actual comment, "solar is real", as in, I feel and see the sun. Or perhaps you simply being as anal as your name, and proclaiming that the sun exists 24 hours a day, but then "flies" was an inappropriate verb.

    Your turn.

  • db||

    What's the total area of solar panels on this plane?

  • John C. Randolph||

    If anyone's taking up a collection for small arms for Korean revolutionaries, I'm in.

    -jcr

  • Sevo||

    "If anyone's taking up a collection for small arms for Korean revolutionaries, I'm in."

    The only Koreans we can hear don't seem to have a lot of interest.

  • SIV||

  • ||

    Anybody else just hear that Bob Costas's gun control rant during half time?

  • JeremyR||

    Pretty much every sports writer is hard left, so not a shock that many would use it to try to push gun control.

  • ||

    He flat out said Jovan and his gf would be alive if they didn't have access to handguns.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It was not the halftime speech I was expecting.

  • iggy||

    At least it's not as bad as the HuffPo commenters who were arguing that it was the fault of evil austerity Rethuglikkkans cutting funding to subsidized mental health care.

  • SIV||

    I always think of all HuffPo comments as

    "Freedom IS Slavery, you racist teabagger! /HuffPost Super User

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What about access to bows and arrows?

  • JeremyR||

    Liberals think guns (like conservatives) are just inherently evil. That they just magically kill people, as if a 250 lb linebacker couldn't kill someone without needing one.

    When in reality, it's the opposite. This never would have happened if the girlfriend had a gun. Unfortunately, too many women buy into the "guns are bad" angle, despite them needing them more than men.

  • NihilistZerO||

    ^THIS!^

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    He's not the only one making this absolutely incredibly ignorant bull shit claim.

    Blows my mind.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Yeah, the reddit game thread blew up about that. I think Costas lost a lot of fans with that.

  • Sevo||

    Sy| 12.2.12 @ 10:29PM |#
    "Anybody else just hear that Bob Costas's gun control rant during half time?"

    No, and I'm reminded of a buddy who dated a dancer. Lovely woman, long legs and the buddy pointed out she wasn't paid for her brains.
    Ditto, oh, Alex Smith pimping for Obozo; a good reason to be happy he's benched.

  • Ted S.||

    I make it a point not to listen to Costas.

  • JeremyR||

    Maybe Wesley Snipes could make a movie based on this guy's story when he gets out of jail.

    While North Korea certainly is screwed up, there's nothing we can do about it. We tried a land war once, didn't work. Instead, why not worry about cleaning up our own country? We have more people in jail than any other country on Earth, including N. Korea.

    Let's fix out our problems before butting into other people's. Or better yet, let us fix our problems and simply serve as an example to the rest of the world...

  • np||

    I'm with you, but that doesn't preclude private citizens helping the North Koreans find freedom or other ways of helping out, whether it's private aid or mercenary action.

    Of course, we all have limited time and resources, limited risk tolerance, and different priorities, so I don't begrudge anyone for not helping or even feeling indifferent.

  • ||

    A good start would be cutting off all government aid to North Korea.

    Bad as it is there, it's not our problem as individuals unless they can develop a credible threat to the safety of U.S. citizens. The only good thing about NK is that it serves as a example to use to refute collectivist arguments.

  • joey89924||

    We're gonna have a lot of pissed off family when they all get here and can't even see her.
    TDA7293

  • ||

    The dumb shit woman says that under socialism 5% of the world's population won't consume 25% of its resources

    It would be probably more like 1% or less of the people -- you know, the dictators and their staff -- would consume over 25% of the very few resources that would be left, so she's technically correct, although in the wrong direction.

  • THIS SUX||

    I think the guy is embellishing or the translator sucks. I swear he said his mother was executed at 14, which would make his birth pretty fucking impressive. On the other hand, if she was executed when he was 14, that is very brutal and that translator sucks.

  • Bam!||

    She was executed when he was 14. He turned her in, thinking he'd get more food.

  • GILMORE||

    [snif]

    Thats just how my mom died.

    That extra bowl of rice was *sooo* worth it though. mmmm, mmmmm.

    in all seriousness - saw an hour long interview with this guy on youtube last night. absolutely devastating.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I wish this guy luck with everything.

  • attractions guide||

    Did he really escaped a North Korean prison camp?

  • Kim Jong Un||

    ...

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