Promoting Dialogue and Understanding Between Korea and the United States
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November 7th 12:00pm - 12:00am EST
Shin Dong-hyuk was born in 1982 in Camp Number 14, a notorious "total control zone" political prison camp located in Kaechon north of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Like all other prisoners Shin Dong-hyuk wasexpected to serve a life sentence and die in the camp. His only crime was that he was born as the child of prisoners. He lived in the camp until he was 24 years old. Within the camp, he was constantly fell victim to torture, forced labor, induced malnutrition and complete lack of medical care. Years of hard labor have left scars as well. At the age of 14, he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother, who had tried to escape.
Shin Dong-hyuk escaped in 2005 at the age of 23 after hearing stories about the outside world from another prisoner and made his way to the Sino-North Korean border in one month. He lived in hiding in China until he resettled in South Korea in 2006. His father remains in the camp, his fate unknown. Since Shin Dong-hyuk's defection to South Korea he has become involved with human rights groups to increase awareness of the atrocities occurring in North Korea. A book about his life, authored by Blaine Harden—former Washington Post correspondent in Seoul for 10 years— was published in March 2012: Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West. The book has been translated in more than 25 languages.
Please find below, photos of the program: