North Korean prisoners worked to death rearing pigs to feed Kim Jong-un & then used as human fertiliser on ‘flower hill'
STARVING citizens caught fleeing North Korea are being worked to death to feed tubby Kim Jong-un and his hungry henchmen, a disturbing new report reveals.
It lays bare the shocking claims about cruel labour camps where the inmates are enslaved — with chilling new satellite images said to show mass graves which fertilise soil for prized flowers.
The report, by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) based in Washington DC, has exposed what it says is a secret labour camp where hungry refugees who are caught escaping the hermit state are imprisoned.
Here they are forced to mostly rear pigs for rotund ruler Kim and his inner circle.
It is part of the Kwan-li-so political prison system — which the UN has described as resembling "the horrors of camps that totalitarian states established during the twentieth century".
Using satellite images taken over time, the HRNK report shows the rapidly expanding Chŭngsan No 11 Detention Facility, which is located 30 miles east of the capital Pyongyang in the South P’yŏngan Province.
The growing gulag comes as Kim cracks down on people fleeing to China or South Korea because of a lack of food — most of whom are mothers with their children.
Based on accounts of inmates who were released and managed to flee the country, the report describes the grotesque conditions of at least 2,000 political prisoners.
They had to dig holes for the dead that were so small and shallow, the bodies had to be bent to fit… on some occasions the deceased person’s knees stuck out of the ground
Many perish because of the appalling conditions or from torture. They are then buried in mass graves.
Officially the camps are known as "re-education centres".
But in reality, the report says, they are forced labour camps, which are reminiscent of the gulags operated by the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
HRNK executive director Greg Scarlatoiu said: "The very presence of secret burial grounds and crematoria at camps scattered throughout the country indicates that the authorities assume and expect a high death rate in detention.
"Just like the Soviet gulag, a camp such as No 11 amalgamates economic exploitation of prisoners with the lethal nexus of forced labor and induced malnutrition.
"Seventy-two years after the Kim regime assumed power — and 67 years after the death of Stalin — its cruelty is on par with the worst of Stalinist punitive practices."
Most of the pigs raised in the camp were said to be "exclusively used to feed the privileged classes within the capital city of Pyongyang”.
The inmates also work in fish farms and harvest salt 730 meters to the southwest of the camp where many die.
HRNK Senior Satellite Imagery Analyst and principal report author Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. said: "The Chŭngsan No 11 Detention Facility is unique among North Korea’s notorious prisons not only for its length of service but for a combination of its dispersed organization, and the reportedly high death rate due to malnutrition and brutality.
"Its inmates are directly tasked with providing meat, fish, and salt to the power-holding elite in Pyongyang — the very group that imprisoned them."
Because of the extremely harsh conditions within the camp, an estimated 2,000 prisoners died or were executed each year.
The buried bodies act as natural fertilizers and help the flower trees to bloom
The report also quotes a camp survivor, who explains how the sheer number of decomposing bodies creates fertile ground for growing of flowers.
She recalled: "They ran out of land to bury the bodies because so many people died.
"People call this mountain the ‘flower hill’ because Azalea blooms every spring and covers the entire mountain.
"The buried bodies act as natural fertilizers and help the flower trees to bloom.
"The flowers are especially red and the trees are green."
Another former prisoner said: "Many people also died from diseases including diarrhea, since no medicine other than a few [medicinal] herbs [were] available."
Her job was to carry the bodies to the "flower hill" mass grave, which was said to already be the burying ground for 5,000 bodies.
She said: "They had to dig holes for the dead that were so small and shallow that the bodies had to be bent to fit.
"On some occasions the deceased person’s knees stuck out of the ground."
The detention facility dates back to at least 1975, but has in the past decade it has been rapidly expanded.
The report calls on North Korea to “grant immediate, free and unimpeded access to international humanitarian organisations to provide assistance to the most vulnerable groups, including prisoners”.
Many other camps exist as part of Kim’s gulag system, which he uses as a tool to oppress and control his long-suffering people.
Satellite imagery has revealed prison Camp No 25 – Kwan-li-so No 25 – which is believed to be home to 5,000 political prisoners.
But Kim's regime denies the camps exist.
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