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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." 

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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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. 

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.

Please click here to read more. 

Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism

Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism

Joshua Stanton
Apr 27, 2015

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On April 27, 2015, HRNK released their report, Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism by Joshua Stanton at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Please click here to view the press release. 

North Korea: Imagery Analysis of Camp 15

North Korea: Imagery Analysis of Camp 15

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Andy Dinville, and Mike Eley
Feb 17, 2015

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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 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea, AllSource Analysis has been mon- itoring activity at political prison facilities throughout North Korea. This report details activity at the facility commonly known as Camp 15.

North Korea's Camp No. 25 Update

North Korea's Camp No. 25 Update

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Jun 05, 2014

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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.

Illicit: North Korea's Evolving Operations to Earn Hard Currency

Illicit: North Korea's Evolving Operations to Earn Hard Currency

Sheena Chestnut Greitens
Apr 15, 2014

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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.”

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North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking certainly continued until the onset of the COVID pandemic. HRNK has endeavored to determine if North Korean entities responsible for exporting workers to China and Russia continued their activities under COVID as well.

George Hutchinson's The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA is the second of three building blocks of a multi-year HRNK project to examine North Korea's information environment. Hutchinson's thoroughly researched and sourced report addresses the circulation of information within the Korean People's Army (KPA). Understanding how KPA soldiers receive their information is needed to prepare information campaigns while taking into account all possible contingenc

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

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-term detention facilities, conducted by the Committee for Human Rights