It is shocking to hear that the ex-girlfriend of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un was executed by Firing Squad, but what happened to her family is even more horrible. Hyon Song Wol, orchestra leader Mun Kyong-jin, and several other musicians and entertainers were arrested on August 17. They were accused of making pornography and selling it. According to an August 31 article in the Chosun Ilbo, it only took three days for them to be found guilty. On August 20, Hyon Song Wol and over a dozen singers, dancers and musicians were publicly executed.
The story evolves into revelations about prison camps where generations are held and enslaved for life. This has been going on since Kim’s grandfather started to send entire families to prison for offenses committed by as few as one member. “Guilt by association” is used to imprison and enslave many generations of a convicted person’s family.
The entertainers, including Kim’s ex-girlfriend, were shot with machine guns. Their families were forced to watch and then they were taken to prison camps to serve out their own sentences. The families and generations of their offspring will spend their lives in camps that North Korea will not admit to having.
The prison camps are North Korea’s greatest horror. The first families were sent to the prison camps for offending Kim’s grandfather during the Korean War. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren are still in prison. Many were born in the prison camps. Many will die there without ever seeing freedom in their lifetimes.
According to an Aug. 30 UK Telegraph article, human rights activists used Google Earth to unveil a giant and well-developed network of prison camps in North Korea. Estimates are that over 200,000 North Koreans languish in those prisons. Almost none are able to escape.
It is believed that many of North Korea’s hidden prison inmates die of starvation or malnutrition. Torture, sexual violence, disease, and other abuse that kills even more. Many are forced to work themselves to death. No one is given a break. Women and children are often forced to work under the most hazardous conditions in mines or logging camps.
According to a May 19 CBS News report, 23-year-old Shin Dong-Hyuk claims to have escaped from “Camp 14,” which was not only his prison, it was his birthplace. Until he was able to flee, he did not know that a larger world or way of life existed.
Kim is believed to be cracking down on his own people and engaging in displays of military power in order to discourage any opposition to his regime. He joins his father and grandfather in maintaining and sending people to one of the world’s little known and worst gulags.