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North Korea: Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri

North Korea: Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Mike Eley
Aug 30, 2016

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The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. and AllSource Analysis, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, have launched a report entitled North Korea: Imagery Analysis of Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri. Although the detention facility was featured in the September 2015 report The Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances by David Hawk, this is the first HRNK/AllSource Analysis satellite imagery report addressing a kyo-hwa-so.

The report calls upon the North Korean government to: improve the nutritional status of prisoners, many of whom suffer from severe malnutrition; improve health and safety standards at worksites where prison labor is present, in particular at the copper mine adjacent to Kyo-hwa-so No. 12; allow the ICRC immediate, full, and genuine access to this and all other detention facilities in the DPRK; comply with the Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners; and reduce water contamination resulting from the adjacent copper mine operated with prison labor.

Unlike the kwan-li-so political prison camps, the kyo-hwa-so re-education prison labor camps also detain common offenders, who are given actual prison sentences, held together with those sentenced for essentially political offenses. One feature that the kwan-li-so and the kyo-hwa-so have in common is the extreme brutality of the conditions of detention.

Gulag, Inc.: The Use of Forced Labor in North Korea's Export Industries

Gulag, Inc.: The Use of Forced Labor in North Korea's Export Industries

Kim Kwang-jin, HRNK Non-Resident Fellow
May 26, 2016

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM EST THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016

Coal, iron ore, copper, and other commodities constituting the bulk of North Korea’s exports are mined using forced and slave labor, according to a new 50-page report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). Authored by Kim Kwang-jin, North Korean escapee and senior analyst currently residing in South Korea, Gulag, Inc.: The Use of Forced Labor in North Korea’s Export Industries is an examination of North Korea’s forced and slave labor practices, highlighting North Korea’s extractive industry. 

North Korea: Ch’oma-bong Restricted Area

North Korea: Ch’oma-bong Restricted Area

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Mar 17, 2016

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Despite North Korea’s adamant denial that political prison camps exist, research based on interviews and satellite imagery reveals a shocking and detailed operation of a vast system of arbitrary and extra-judicial, unlawful detention. In its findings released in February 2014, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea (COI) determined that “crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea, pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the State.” Many of these crimes against humanity take place against persons detained in political and other prison camps—persons who the Commission determined are among the “primary targets of a systematic and widespread attack” by the North Korean regime—including: murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political grounds, and the enforced disappearance of persons.

Pyongyang Republic: North Korea's Capital of Human Rights Denial

Pyongyang Republic: North Korea's Capital of Human Rights Denial

Robert Collins
Feb 09, 2016

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Report embargoed until 12:01a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. 

North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 16

North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 16

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Dec 15, 2015

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AllSource Analysis analyzed imagery of the North Korean political prison facility known as Camp 16 and its immediate environs using pan sharpened multispectral satellite imagery collected by DigitalGlobe and Airbus Defense and Space from April 2013 through January
2015. Also analyzed was a declassified KH-9 satellite image from October 1983. Imagery analysis helped determine the operational status of Camp 16 based on changes in the following features:

  • Guard positions and entrances
  • Housing and agricultural support
  • facilities and activity
  • Hydroelectric facilities
  • Internal road network
  • Light industrial facilities
  • Mining and forestry activity 
  • Miscellaneous activity 
  • Security perimeter and associated road network. 

Based on analysis of these features, Camp 16 has been and remains an operational political prison camp. As North Korea’s largest political prison camp, it is, by North Korean standards, a mature and well-maintained facility. This is a very active facility—even in the recent winter imagery—that is focused primarily on logging and agriculture, with smaller instances of mining, light industry, and hydroelectric power production. It is important to reiterate the analytical caution presented in previous reports (such as North Korea: Imagery Analysis of Camp 155 and North Korea’s Camp No. 25 Update6) produced by HRNK and AllSource. North Korean officials, especially those within the Korean People’s Army and internal security organizations, clearly understand the importance of implementing camouflage, concealment, and deception (CCD) procedures to mask their operations and intentions. It would be reasonable to assume that they have done so here.

North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 14

North Korea Imagery Analysis of Camp 14

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Nov 30, 2015

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As part of a joint undertaking with HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea), AllSource Analysis (ASA) has been monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout North Korea. This report details activity at the facility commonly known as Kwan-li-so No.14, Kaech’ŏn Political Prison Camp, Political Prison Facility 14 or more simply Camp 14. Prisoners detained at Camp 14 are thought to never be eligible for release. Available historic satellite imagery and escapee reports indicate that this kwan-li-so has been in existence at least as far back as 1965.

North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un

North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un

Ken E. Gause
Oct 30, 2015

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The Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances

The Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances

David Hawk
Sep 18, 2015

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Embargoed until 9:00a.m. EST Friday, September 18

David Hawk has authored the fourth edition of The Hidden Gulag and has discovered gender repression and prisoner double disappearances in the political prison camps of North Korea. Read the full publication for more information on his interviews with former political prisoners. 

Imagery Analysis of Camp 15 “Yodŏk” Closure of the “Revolutionizing Zone”

Imagery Analysis of Camp 15 “Yodŏk” Closure of the “Revolutionizing Zone”

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Sep 18, 2015

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Embargoed until 9:00a.m. EST Friday, September 18

HRNK and AllSource Analysis have worked together to give you an updated satellite imagery analysis of one of the political prison camps in North Korea, Camp 15. Together, HRNK and ASA have discovered the closure of the "Revolutionizing Zone." 

Unusual Activity at the Kanggon Military Training Area in North Korea: Evidence of Execution by Anti-aircraft Machine Guns?

Unusual Activity at the Kanggon Military Training Area in North Korea: Evidence of Execution by Anti-aircraft Machine Guns?

Greg Scarlatoiu and Joseph Bermudez, Jr.
Apr 29, 2015

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While examining satellite imagery of an area near the North Korean capital city, the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and AllSource Analysis, Inc. (ASA) may have come across evidence of a ghastly sight: the public execution of several individuals by anti-aircraft machine gun fire.

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North Korea: Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Mike Eley
Aug 30, 2016

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. and AllSource Analysis, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, have launched a report entitled North Korea: Imagery Analysis of Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri. Although the detention facility was featured in the September 2015 report The Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances by David Hawk, this is the first HRNK/AllSource An

Gulag, Inc.: The Use of Forced Labor in North Korea's Export Industries
Kim Kwang-jin, HRNK Non-Resident Fellow
May 26, 2016

EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM EST THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016 Coal, iron ore, copper, and other commodities constituting the bulk of North Korea’s exports are mined using forced and slave labor, according to a new 50-page report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). Authored by Kim Kwang-jin, North Korean escapee and senior analyst currently residing in South Korea, Gulag, Inc.: The Use of Forced Labor in North Korea’s Export Industries is an exami

North Korea: Ch’oma-bong Restricted Area
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Mar 17, 2016

Despite North Korea’s adamant denial that political prison camps exist, research based on interviews and satellite imagery reveals a shocking and detailed operation of a vast system of arbitrary and extra-judicial, unlawful detention. In its findings released 

Report embargoed until 12:01a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.