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September 11, 2012
The Story of Oh Kil-nam and His Family   Source: Chosunilbo     Dr. Oh Kil-nam was once a South Korean elite strongly opposed to the Yusin Constitution system, who left South Korea to study in Germany.   After the No. 3 Office of the Central Committee of the Workers Party noticed Dr. Oh in Germany, North Korean agents approached him and lured him to North Korea with promises of a position in which he could study economics as much as he pleased. The North Korean agents also promised medical treatment for Dr. Oh’s wife, who was suffering from hepatitis. Because of these promises, Dr. Oh decided to enter North Korea in 1985, bringing his wife and two young daughters, Hye-won and Gyu-won, with him.   “It was a real donkey act!” Dr. Oh said of his decision. Upon arriving at the airport in Pyongyang, he had already realized his mistake. His family was sent to a military camp in the mountains, and they were forced to repeatedly and solely study the sayings of Kim Il-sung. After that he was posted to a position at the “Voice of National Salvation,” a North Korean radio propaganda broadcaster targeting South Korean people.   The following year, Dr. Oh was instructed to go to Germany to win over South Korean students studying there for the North Korean government. He was not allowed to bring his family with him to Germany, and they were forced to stay in North Korea. His wife, Shin Suk-ja, pushed him to take the opportunity to defect back to South Korea. Dr. Oh eventually asked for asylum in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1
July 19, 2012
Please click on this link for the photo gallery from this event.  The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) launched the 130-page report, Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korean Police State, on July 19 at the Korea Economic Institute (KEI).   Authored by North Korean leadership specialist Ken E. Gause, Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment reveals that the Kim family created a pervasive state security apparatus to consolidate power, relying on constant surveillance and a network of informants to root out threats to the regime from the smallest neighborhoods to the highest levels of the military. The report rollout, moderated by Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, also featured remarks by discussants Chuck Downs, former HRNK Executive Director, Helen-Louise Hunter, HRNK Board Member, and Kim Kwang-jin, HRNK Non-Resident Fellow. SPEAKER BIOS: Ken Gause, the report author, is a senior research analyst with CNA Strategic Studies’ International Affairs Group and Iranian Studies Program. He oversees CNA’s work on foreign leadership studies and is expert on leadership issues concerning North Korea. Mr. Gause began his career as a leadership analyst with the U.S. government, posted for three years in Moscow. Since the mid-1980s, he has worked for a number of defense-related think tanks, where he has strived to push the boundaries of leadership analysis. Prior to joining CNA in 1999, Gause was Director of Research for Keesing’s Worldwide Directory of Defense Authorities. Mr. Gause holds a B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Vanderbilt University, and earned an M.A. in Soviet and East E
June 06, 2012
Please click on this link for the photo gallery from this event.
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North Korea’s Long-term Re-education through Labor Camp (Kyo-hwa-so) No. 4 at Kangdong
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Mortwedt Oh, an
Jun 20, 2019

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during the past 15 years at a prison facility identified by escapees and researchers as “Kyo-hwa-so No. 4, Kangdong” (39.008838° 126.153277°) and endeavors to establish a preliminary baseline report of the facility.

North Korea’s Long-term Re-education through Labor Camp (Kyo-hwa-so)  at Pokchŏng-ni
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Mortwedt Oh, an
May 29, 2019

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during the past 14 years at a prison facility that is provisionally being identified as the Pokchŏng-ni Kyo-hwa-so (39.001730 126.055616) and endeavors to establish a preliminary baseline report of the facility.

THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY DEC. 19, 2018. Denied from the Start: Human Rights at the Local Level in North Korea is a comprehensive study of how North Korea’s Kim regime denies human rights for each and every citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In doing so, this report examines human rights denial policies and practices. Local institutions are responsible for this denial at the schools, housing units, workplaces, and beyon

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the DPRK’s—  1. System of political imprisonment, wherein a multitude of human rights violations are evidenced, including enforced disappearance, amounting to crimes against humanity.  2. Restrictions on freedom of movement, affecting women in particular, as evidenced in sexual violence, human trafficking, and arbitrary detention.  3. Policy of social and political discrimination, known as “so

From Cradle to Grave: The Path of North Korean Innocents
Robert Collins and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Nov 13, 2017

This paper draws on existing research and Robert Collins’ previous work to explain the ideological basis and institutional structure of the Kim regime’s rule of terror, with an emphasis on the political prison camps. It is intended to provide a brief overview of how North Korea’s party-state controls every individual’s life from the cradle to the grave through relentless indoctrination, surveillance, and punishment. Specifically, it seeks to answer the following questions: What so

The Parallel Gulag: North Korea's
David Hawk with Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Oct 26, 2017

In this book, David Hawk provides never-before-seen imagery of labor re-education camps, both suspected and confirmed. He reveals a parallel network of prisons controlled by the DPRK’s Ministry of People’s Security (An-jeon-bu). These revelations suggest the imposition of degrees of suffering even more pervasive than the UN COI described in 2014. Although these labor camps might be described as “ordinary prisons”, there is nothing “ordinary” in the treatment of those i

North Korea Camp No. 25 Update 2
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Nov 29, 2016

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 9.0px Helvetica; color: #3f5864} span.s1 {font: 5.0px Helvetica} 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 has been monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout North Korea. This report details activity observed during the past

North Korea: Flooding at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri
Greg Scarlatoiu and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Sep 16, 2016

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC and AllSource Analysis, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, have conducted a satellite imagery-based rapid assessment of flood damage at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri in Hamgyŏng-bukto, North Korea. Thousands of political prisoners are held in this re-education prison labor camp together with common offenders.