Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Jun 05, 2014
As part of a joint undertaking with the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in North Korea AllSource Analysis (ASA) has been monitoring activity at political prison facilities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea).
This report covers activity observed during the past 12 months at the facility commonly known as Kwan-li-so No. 25 (Political Prison Camp No. 25) and updates HRNK’s February 2013 report on the same subject.
For this report, ASA undertook an imagery analysis of Camp No. 25 and its environs using a 50 cm pansharpened multispectral satellite image collected by Airbus Defense and Space (Airbus) on March 22, 2014.
Sheena Chestnut Greitens
Apr 15, 2014
In Illicit: North Korea’s Evolving Operations to Earn Hard Currency, Sheena Chestnut Greitens provides a detailed and thoroughly researched account of the role of illicit activities in the North Korean economy. A central conclusion of Chestnut Greitens’ analysis is that in the context of eroding state control over the licit aspects of the economy, illicit activities are also being “privatized” by North Korea’s elite. As HRNK Co-chair and former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios puts it, Chestnut Greitens’ report provides “evidence that a market economy is developing in North Korea, in this case a criminal one that is feeding off the suffering and deprivation of the population. The report is about the absence of the rule of law on a grand scale in North Korea and in a way that criminal activity is now being privatized. It is very useful in understanding the perverse transformation of the country going on right now.”
Aug 27, 2013
David Hawk interprets reports of changes in North Korea's political prison camps in his most recent report, North Korea's Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps. Please view the press release here.
HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Feb 25, 2013
For this report, DigitalGlobe Analytics examined eleven images collected from 2003 to 2013 of the North Korean political prison facility known as Camp 25 (a.k.a. Kwan-liso No. 25, Political Prison Facility No. 25, No. 25 Chongjin Political Concentration Camp, Susŏng Correctional Center) in Susŏng-dong, Ch’ŏngjin-si, Hamgyŏng-bukto, on the northeast coast of the nation. In this analysis, imagery was compared to identify changes in the organization of the camp, including variations in:
Imagery of these areas could reveal changes that would provide insight into the operational status, prison population and security of Camp 25.
HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Dec 11, 2012
As a follow-up to the October 2012 joint HRNK- DigitalGlobe imagery analysis of North Korea’s Camp 22 (Kwan-li-so No. 22, Korean People’s Security Guard Unit 2209), DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center was asked to assist in identifying reported activity in and around Camp 22 in Hamgyŏng-bukto. More specifically, the Analysis Center was to examine:
HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Oct 24, 2012
During late September 2012, the North Korean activist community began reporting that the notorious political penal labor facility Camp 22 had been closed in early 2012. On October 1, 2012, in response to these reports and in partnership with the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, DigitalGlobe’s Analysis Center initiated an imagery analysis of Camp 22.
Ken E. Gause
Jul 19, 2012
Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment lifts the curtain on North Korea’s three main security agencies – the State Security Department, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Military Security Command. Increasing in complexity and relevance with each generation, the apparatus relies on constant surveillance, a network of informants in every neighborhood, and the threat of punishment in North Korea’s notorious prison camps to ensure the Kim regime’s total control.
The report suggests that the internal security apparatus, built under Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, will continue to be a key element of Kim Jong-un’s political control. “For sixty years, the internal security apparatus has ensured the survival of the Kim family dictatorship,” says Gause, “Whether or not North Korea collapses, evolves, or continues to muddle through will depend a great deal on the viability of this all-pervasive apparatus.” State security agencies have supported Kim Jong-un as he consolidates power, increasing border surveillance and cracking down on marketplaces and telephone communication.
Jun 06, 2012
The North Korean government assigns a “songbun” status to every citizen at birth based on the perceived political loyalty of his or her family going back generations. While a small, politically loyal class in North Korea is entitled to extensive privileges, the vast majority of citizens are relegated to a permanent lower status and then discriminated against for reasons they cannot control or change.
Apr 10, 2012
Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.
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.