Home > HRNK Publications
HRNK Publications
North Korea's Camp No. 25 Update

North Korea's Camp No. 25 Update

Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
Jun 05, 2014

Read Summary Download PDF

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

Read Summary Download PDF

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.”

North Korea's Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps

North Korea's Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps

David Hawk
Aug 27, 2013

Read Summary Download PDF

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

UPDATED: The North Korea Police State: Second Edition

UPDATED: The North Korea Police State: Second Edition

Ken Gause
May 29, 2013

Read Summary Download PDF

The newest version of Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korea Police State by Ken Gause, updated on May 24, 2013. 

North Korea's Camp No. 25

North Korea's Camp No. 25

HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Feb 25, 2013

Read Summary Download PDF

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:

  • Walls, perimeter, guard posts and gates
  • Administrative areas
  • Light industrial and prisoner housing areas
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural support facilities
  • Other buildings

Imagery of these areas could reveal changes that would provide insight into the operational status, prison population and security of Camp 25.

North Korea's Camp No. 22 - Update

North Korea's Camp No. 22 - Update

HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Dec 11, 2012

Read Summary Download PDF

 

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:

  • The outer perimeter fence, guard towers and guard positions to determine if some, or all, have been razed. The razing of these structures could indicate that Camp 22 prisoners have been replaced with a non-prisoner workforce.2
  • Mining-related activities in the Kungsim-dong and Kungsimjukp’o-dong areas. Undisclosed sources claim that mining operations in these areas have been shut down and the miners relocated to the Chungbong-dong (i.e., Camp 22) Mine, replacing the former prisoner workforce there.3
  • Examine and assess Camp 16 (Kwan-li-so No. 16) to determine if there is evidence that the prison population has increased in the past year. Such indications could support reports that prisoners from Camp 22 were transferred to Camp 16.
  • Because of time and resource constraints, the Analysis Center can only address the first two items at this time. A future report will examine Camp 16. 

North Korea's Camp No. 22

North Korea's Camp No. 22

HRNK & DigitalGlobe, Inc.
Oct 24, 2012

Read Summary Download PDF

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.

Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korean Police State

Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korean Police State

Ken E. Gause
Jul 19, 2012

Read Summary Download PDF

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.

Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea's Social Classification System

Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea's Social Classification System

Robert Collins
Jun 06, 2012

Read Summary Download PDF

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.

 

The Hidden Gulag Second Edition

The Hidden Gulag Second Edition

David Hawk
Apr 10, 2012

Read Summary Download PDF

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.

1 2 3 4 5
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 P
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-

North Korea's Chŭngsan No. 11 Detention Facility
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Dec 21, 2020

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in the DPRK (more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison and detention facilities throughout the nation. This study endeavors to both establish a preliminary baseline report and detail activities observed during 2002–2020 at a detention facility variously identified by former prisoners and researchers as the “Chŭngsan No. 11

EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019.