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North Korea Camp No. 25 Update 2

North Korea Camp No. 25 Update 2

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Nov 29, 2016

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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 has been monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout North Korea. This report details activity observed during the past two years at the prison facility commonly identified as Camp No. 25, but also known as Kwanli-so No. 25, Political Prison Camp No. 25 or the Susŏng-dong Kyo-hwa-so, and updates HRNK’s February 2013 and June 2015 reports on the same subject.

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

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

Greg Scarlatoiu and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Sep 16, 2016

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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.

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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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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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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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." 

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North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 14, Update 1
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Dec 22, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This is the second HRNK satellite imagery report detailing activity observed during 2015 to 2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as “Kwan-li-so No. 14 Kaech’ŏn” (39.646810, 126.117058) and

North Korea's Long-term Prison-Labor Facility, Kyo-hwa-so No.3, T’osŏng-ni (토성리)
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Nov 03, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at civil and political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during 1968–1977 and 2002–2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as "Kyo-hwa-so No. 3, T'osŏng-ni" and endeavors to e

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Sep 30, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former detainee interviews to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so

North Korea’s Potential Long-Term  Prison-Labor Facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동)
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Aug 26, 2021

Through satellite imagery analysis and witness testimony, HRNK has identified a previously unknown potential kyo-hwa-so long-term prison-labor facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동) P’ihyŏn-gun, P’yŏngan-bukto, North Korea. While this facility appears to be operational and well maintained, further imagery analysis and witness testimony collection will be necessary in order to irrefutably confirm that Sŏnhwa-dong is a kyo-hwa-so.

North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update
Joseph S Bermudez, Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M Oh, & Rosa Park
Jul 22, 2021

"North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update" is the latest report under a long-term project employing satellite imagery analysis and former political prisoner testimony to shed light on human suffering in North Korea's prison camps.

Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea: The Role of the United Nations" is HRNK's 50th report in our 20-year history. This is even more meaningful as David Hawk's "Hidden Gulag" (2003) was the first report published by HRNK. In his latest report, Hawk details efforts by many UN member states and by the UN’s committees, projects and procedures to promote and protect human rights in the DPRK.  The report highlights North Korea’s shifts in its approach

Embargoed until 12:01 a.m. February 25, 2021.  South Africa’s Apartheid and North Korea’s Songbun: Parallels in Crimes against Humanity by Robert Collins underlines similarities between two systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly discriminatory repressive systems. This project began with expert testimony Collins submitted as part of a joint investigation and documentation project scrutinizing human rights violations committed at North Korea’s short-