In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death

Posted on December 5, 2008

There are very few positive things one can say about the North Korean communist regime. For years they have lashed out at their neighbors, openly defied any request made of them, and worst of all they basically imprisoned all of their people with the fear of death.

In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death picture

Shin Dong Hyuk, who grew up in one of North Korea’s worst prison camps, is one of the few have have broken North Korean law and lived to tell of it.

The interview Shin Dong Hyuk gave upon successfully escaping the prison camp is truly chilling and one of the darkest looks into North Korea I have ever read.

The one thing that is a constant through everything you will read about North Korea, is that the punishment for breaking any rule, is almost always death.

“Resistance is simply unthinkable.”

Here are the 10 rules of the prison camp, as translated from Shin Dong Hyuk:

Camp Rules: The 10 Commandments

1. Do not attempt to escape. The punishment is death.

2. Never gather in groups of over three people or move around without the guard’s authorization. The punishment for unauthorized movement is death.

3. Do not steal. If one steals or possesses weapons, the punishment is death. The punishment for failure to report the theft or possession of weapons is death.

4. Obey your guards. If one rebels or hits a guard, the punishment is death.

5. If you see outsiders, or suspicious-looking people, report them immediately. The punishment for abetting in the hiding of outsiders is death.

6. Keep an eye on your fellow prisoners and report inappropriate behavior without delay. One should criticize others for inappropriate behavior, and also conduct thorough self-criticism in revolutionary ideology class.

7. Fulfill your assigned duties. The punishment for rebelling against one’s duties is death.

8. Men and women may not be together outside the workplace. The punishment for unauthorized physical contact between a man and a woman is death.

9. Admit and confess your wrongdoings. The punishment for disobedience and refusal to repent is death.

10. The punishment for violating camp laws and rules is death.

Google actually hosted an education conversation about North Korea that included Shin Dong Hyuk. It is very long, but really worth the watch.

You can jump to around 20 minutes to get right to the interview with Shin.

In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death picture

(Youtube has been acting up so you can view the video on Youtube if it says unavailable above.)

The sadest part is around 26 minutes when they ask him to talk about his torture. So painful is the memory he cannot openly speak about it without reading it from his own writings.

Read more about Shin Dong Hyuk’s recounts of life in North Korea’s most brutal prison camp and how he finally managed to escape.

If you want to help be a part of the solution, check out LiNK, Liberty in North Korea. They help to create shelters for those who have escaped their prisons and captors in North Korea.

In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death picture
Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.
In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death picture
In North Korea,The Punishment is Always Death picture

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39 comments
Matt Mohler
Matt Mohler

Save these people from their country? What like Veitnam, or The one we are currently fighting. Its flip floped so many times, I don't know who we are killing now.

tim4545
tim4545

Oh man..I will never go to N korea.

wait...
wait...

whoever it was in those comments that does not support the war on terror should be ashamed! u guys think it was unnecessary? well it wasnt! if bush didnt attack in the middle east where would we be right now? america would be in worse troubles than they are now! and america is smart they wont attack north korea...soon at least due to the heavy ties that the north has with Russia.....and China! america needs to keep the wrld safe and all other coalition countries will follow america, we need to pursue on in the middle east until it is finished only then can we worry about north korea. but as some1 said up there in the comments "they choose to live there"...or along those lines! they dont do you know how hard it would be to start a rebellion in one of the most totalitarian countries in the world!...very hard!

Bubba
Bubba

11. Thinking for yourself is prohibited. The punishment is death.

freedomlover
freedomlover

Revalation 20:10-15..yep its gonna happen and all thugs in Hell :)

freedom lover
freedom lover

God almighty will judge Kim and trash like him...one day Revelation 20:10-1 will take place. Kim will scream and cry, in great terror he "Great leader hahahahaha" will spin inot hell..outer darnkness...with no mercy for all eternity. Amen and great job King Jesus!

Dick
Dick

Sounds like Guantanamo to me!

alicelockhart
alicelockhart

i would rather die trying to get free. if i die, i die, if i live, then i live. i wouldnt wanna take dat **** all my life...

bo
bo

My god, that is truly tragic. I hope that the country resolves it's awful problems in the near future.

Belbecat
Belbecat

I still can't believe people compare NK to the US LOL!!! If you don't like Bush or the US, you spit on it and leave. You're not born into a prison and work for the rest of your life while eating chicken feed because your grandmother did something "wrong". It's not news that all media has its own agendas whether it be profits or political views, don't be lazy and change the channel and do some homework. Anviel - I feel the situation is a little like telling a person blind from birth to fight for colour, and any attempt will pretty much kill your other senses and then take your life. Why would anyone fight for something they don't know or understand at the risk of their life and the lives of everyone they know? I get the view of die or die trying, but I feel a rebellion would just mean the chicken feed will actually be fed to chickens. After all that said, I admit I havn't been able to come up with a solution myself. I also thank WAN for this article because I am 1 of those who was living blissfully unaware of this situation in NK untill moments ago.

ryan kitson
ryan kitson

Check it out! www.shortershelflife.com The kids are getting quick!!

Anuviel
Anuviel

We can do a lot. The only thing that has ever changed a world was a person. Do not underestimate the power of an individual or a small group of people. One can easily bring about attention to anything one wants as long as he / she is ready to accept whatever consequence their action brings. Yes, you would be surprised how much information there is. By the way i liked your comments (Comment by s. Garfath 2008-12-09 04:20:32) but why do you have to spoil them by saying "are you out of your mind?!…." - not a very good way to debate. I find it insulting, whether it was your intention or not and yes maybe I am out of my mind but does that mean what I am saying is not correct?

Anuviel
Anuviel

As you were saying until it becomes a danger to the world world will do nothing. There is a certain group in South Korea that delivers / throws or uses whatever means they can, they deliver pamphlets to North. They are so successful that North released a vicious statement considering military action if they are not stopped. - that is a fact. Now the only thing that group needs to do is to continue what they are doing and if North is overestimating their power of arms, as often is the case, they will try military action and when they do the world will have to interfere... That about sums my opinions on this issue so think of my opinions as you like, matters not to me.

s. Garfath
s. Garfath

Pretty well correct, 'cept for one minor point The average citizen in North Korea has NO access to the internet. The highlight of their extistence is access to toilet paper, maybe once in their god-awful lives. Internet?, are you out of your mind?!....

s. Garfath
s. Garfath

Anuviel, in a perfect world, your observations, comments, and statements would be applicable. This is not a perfect world. Case in point. If your complete existence, all you know, see/hear/do/ is what the controlling entity wants you to know, then that is your world, simple as that. The North Korean people have no knowledge of the outside world, simple as that. The North Korean people have NO hope, simple as that. Many years ago, a book was written about Earth and it's population, that is chillingly like North Korea, it's by Ira Levin, and it's called 'This Perfect Day'. Find it, read it. Again, the people of North Korea are without hope, as the rest of the world's leaders and governments could'nt give a rats arse, as long as North Korea is propped-up and held in check, NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING will be done, and NOTHING can be done, externally or internally, the world's leaders and governments make very sure of that!. Until North korea becomes a clear and obvious destabilising threat to the world, NOTHING WILL BE DONE, NOTHING!. Get it through your head. This not a defeatist statement, it is simply a fact of life on Earth. The world's leaders have NO thoughts whatsoever about the people of North Korea,in their minds, they simply do not exist. We, the PEOPLE of the world are their only chance. What can we do?.

Mikaya
Mikaya

Video no longer works?

Gee-man
Gee-man

It's f*cking sad how you kids growing up these days in your well-pampered upbringings have the impudence to link the actions in North Korea to the United States. In North Korea, I can guarantee you that you, your family, and your friends would all be dead just for even implying that on the internet. Last time I checked, you can insult America in newspapers, magazines, television, the internet, radio, and just about every other form of media available without getting punished by the death sentence. Ugh, every generation is just getting more and more spoiled by free-speech and democracy.

ApatheticPoster
ApatheticPoster

Anuviel says: "Any regime can push only so far. In the end people always rebel... and when you do I will be there to help you." How far beore YOU think the regime has pushed too far? Did the Nazis push far enough? How about modern China in Tibet? Are you in Darfur right now? Or Chad, or Myanmar? I thought not. You, like Doug are safely critisizing others who do act from the safety of your well protected home. What a moronic post. "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand and do nothing."

Ely
Ely

"Perhaps you do not understand the scope of the problem. People in the US recognize there is a problem, but it has been decades, a new generation has basically grown up in this environment of fear, and when anything remotely resembling disobedience results in death, it gets hard to organize and convince people to act. There are and probably still are attempts. They get violently and swiftly oppressed, not simply by the government, but by an entire generation brainwashed into following the mandate of the appointed leader. Blocked off from the rest of the world, they are satisfied only because they have a hard time even comprehending that anything outside the US could be any better." I also don't think military action is apt and that "eventually people will either find a way into office and open the country, or there will be an organization of the people who have finally had it." You can't imagine how close to the solution you are and how universal it could be. Stick to your bankrupt plutocracy and oligarchy and fix it first.

Rie
Rie

<< I for one would rather die then live under those conditions. Since people of North Korea choose to do nothing about the conditions in which they live they deserve them justly. When they can no longer take them all they need to is rebel and come after those in power >> Perhaps you do not understand the scope of the problem. People in North Korea recognize there is a problem, but it has been decades, a new generation has basically grown up in this environment of fear, and when anything remotely resembling disobedience results in death, it gets hard to organize and convince people to act. There are and probably still are attempts. They get violently and swiftly oppressed, not simply by the government, but by an entire generation brainwashed into following the mandate of the glorious leader. Blocked off from the rest of the world, they are satisfied only because they have a hard time even comprehending that anything outside of North Korea could be any better. I do not think military action is the route to go. I think time will moderate the country -- it will eventually lose its dictator, more information will seep in from the outside as to just how better off the rest of the world is, and eventually people will either find a way into office and open the country, or there will be an organization of the people who have finally had it.

Anuviel
Anuviel

North Korea does not need help. If people of North Korea are ok and satisfied with how things are then nobody should meddle in their affairs. When they cannot take more they will rebel, there are far worse things then death. Any regime can push only so far. In the end people always rebel and pay in blood for their freedom. It is not US duty to fight other peoples wars even if it is just and noble. The greatest issue in today's world is that governments succeeded in making people believe that they have no power. People can and will bring down the aggressors themselves. Sure, millions will die, but death is not so terrible. It is fear that people like Kim use to rule, once the people over who he rules loose that ultimate fear of dying so Kim will loose his power and will be thrown down. It is not the duty of US to help people who cannot help themselves. As often the sad case is US comes, kills thousands then after they milked the country for all the money they can they leave and do not care for the people anymore. In North Korea it is not the government that is the issue, it is the people. If you let yourself be oppressed then even if someone comes to save you, you still will not be free. As often is the case one evil gets replaced by the other which is allowed to stay due to it being "accepted". I for one would rather die then live under those conditions. Since people of North Korea choose to do nothing about the conditions in which they live they deserve them justly. When they can no longer take them all they need to is rebel and come after those in power. Rake, shovel, spear, gun, bomb it matters not, attack with what you have and when you do I will be there to help you. Should events like these come to pass world should go in and help the people and if your country refuses to help then they are no better then Kim and his merry bunch.

Doug Flutie
Doug Flutie

The media stopped Bush? How stupid are you? The "media" didn't stop Bush - he did eveything that he wanted to do. It's just our problem that everything that the soon to be ex-prez, prick wanted to do was wrong and stupid. And probably worthy of jail-time & un-Constitutional. Moron.

NeutralThought
NeutralThought

Or it could have been nice if we focused on actual enemies like the DPRK instead of misleading the American people into a war under false pretenses. Its not so much the media that tied Bush's hands as much as the debunking of the War on Terror\WMD arguments did which were bound to come out unless you live in places with gov'ts like NK. Misleading the public to war, abu ghraib, gitmo, blackwater civie killings are the legacies of the incursion in Iraq. Are you arguing that these things have been skewed by the media or they have done some sort of disservice by reporting these? Otherwise your logic ironically follows that which you decry. Baseless pundit-type drivel.

Terry
Terry

Too bad that the media successfully tied Bush's hands by whipping up the eaisly influenced (read: stupid) over Iraq. I would have really liked to see him deal with the DPRK. As wars go it would be pretty short. The North doesn't have the money\resources to sustain any type of conflict for more then a few days. Obama won't give the people of the North a second thought, but he will give Kim enough to be able to keep him in power and his people enslaved. Assuming Kim is still alive that is. But if not Kim the a military hunta. The biggest problem wiht going to war with the North, of course, is what to do with the millions of Kimbots that the aftermath woudl produce?

ludoludi61
ludoludi61

@wait... 1war on "terror" was not necessary, like any other stupid u.s war.

1 iraq never threatened u.s . so it was a war of aggression.

2 iraq did not have chemical weapons. us had them and used them too, in falluja.

3 fighting terrorism and exporting democracy are excuses. in fact the only things u.s exported were death and distruction. neither iraq nor afghanistan are democracy. i wonder if u.s is it.

4 only in iraq your army killed 600000 innocent civilians ( civilians, not terrorists)

5 at least 150 guantanamo prisoners were innocent.

bye bye

you criticise terrorists but then you beheaved like them (killing civilians through bombs and torturing innocent people are right things that terrorists do).

EDr
EDr

Obviously all these rebuttals and differing opinions matter to you. Your responses testify to that. In terms of your stance, an apt analogy to consider is the oppressed population of NK as children and the government as parents. In that context, your argument sounds like this: someone molests or beats a child, its the child's fault because he/she isn't fighting back hard enough. If the child really wants to rectify the situation he/she should've fought harder.

Joe
Joe

Yes, we need to get rid of free speech and democracy before we destroy everything we stand for, like, uh free speech and democracy!

Anuviel
Anuviel

Anuviel says: “Any regime can push only so far. In the end people always rebel… and when you do I will be there to help you.” How far before YOU think the regime has pushed too far? Did the Nazis push far enough? How about modern China in Tibet? Are you in Darfur right now? Or Chad, or Myanmar? I thought not. You, like Doug are safely critisizing others who do act from the safety of your well protected home. What a moronic post. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand and do nothing.” A post cannot be moronic. A post is a post, moronic is your opinion of it, nothing more. I do not think nor try to determine how much is too far. That is up to the people who are being pushed to decide. When they decide they had enough they need to take action and good people should be there to assist by any means available to them. Of course I am talking about the issues I take interest in from a safety of my home.

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu

As much as you want to relate it to the US.. No one is going to shoot you dead for what you just wrote. However, if you were in North Korea. You would be dead and likely your family would have been tortured. There is a difference. It is sad that people who live in free countries are so spoiled they don't even get the difference. Sad.

J.D.
J.D.

If this North Korean leader is so ruthless, then why has anyone not attempted to kill him? I think people are brainwashed. They've lived like this for so long, they don't know any better, they are retricted in every which way from the outside world. You can't long for something you don't know exists.

Harvey Dent
Harvey Dent

Worse things than death? You've done both and can say that? You can really say that death is not so terrible? While I agree that fixing DPRK's wagon should not be the U.S.'s job, surely you can come up with a rational argument that doesn't inflame everyone to come to the opposite conclusion of what you are putting forward - or is that your point? Great idea of the people of DPRK rising up against their better armed, better trained and much better fed military masters... there are simply too many better ways for the situation to be resolved than to wait for the people in the worst situation possible to do it actually do it when they are at the end of their rope - with hundreds starving to death each and every day now, how much worse will that be when they do reach the end of that rope? This isn't simply a matter of oppression of freedom of speech, worship, illegal wiretapping, high taxes and working conditions: it is the means of survival. While a military response might, but I doubt, be the best way of accomplishing a change in that country, results would also occur through a worldwide concerted effort of all the other nations exerting other forms of pressure on the powers currently running the DPRK.

jarhead6353
jarhead6353

pot calling the kettle black, don't you think? everything was wrong and stupid? have you stopped wetting your bed yet?

robert
robert

your forgetting the big giant bear to the north. im sure the chinese would not let north korea fall so easily. sounds like a second vietnam to me.

Ben S
Ben S

Ah... yea. Except they have a nuclear arsenal, which would make it a quick war, but not without millions of dead Asians. Not so simple.

Ely
Ely

Buddy, get a reality check. I've lived in a socialist country for 38 years and can fairly make the comparison. Any totalitarian state is bad and the US is no better than DPRK in that aspect. Who the f*** cares what you can write or say. Self imposed censorship is typical for either system and Nazi type propaganda too. BTW US has never been a free country.

Anuviel
Anuviel

Comment by Harvey Dent 2008-12-05 19:51:10 "" "Worse things than death? You’ve done both and can say that? You can really say that death is not so terrible?" "While I agree that fixing DPRK’s wagon should not be the U.S.’s job, surely you can come up with a rational argument that doesn’t inflame everyone to come to the opposite conclusion of what you are putting forward - or is that your point?" "Great idea of the people of DPRK rising up against their better armed, better trained and much better fed military masters… there are simply too many better ways for the situation to be resolved than to wait for the people in the worst situation possible to do it actually do it when they are at the end of their rope - with hundreds starving to death each and every day now, how much worse will that be when they do reach the end of that rope? This isn’t simply a matter of oppression of freedom of speech, worship, illegal wiretapping, high taxes and working conditions: it is the means of survival. " "While a military response might, but I doubt, be the best way of accomplishing a change in that country, results would also occur through a worldwide concerted effort of all the other nations exerting other forms of pressure on the powers currently running the DPRK." Nobody can really tell you how bad Death is as anyone who experienced it, is well dead. Yes, there are worse things then Death, quick bullet to the head and you are gone. Imagine someone torturing you, cutting off piece by piece of your leg, every day couple of inches, starving you, sodomizing, never ending pain... Yes, IN MY OPINION, there are things worse then Death, if you do not agree, that is fine I can live with that. Well I do have a knack for enticing people and have them usually take a different side then the one I am on. Maybe my opinion of this matter is wrong however it is just that an opinion. I do not claim, state or tell people that they are wrong, right or stupid as often is the case by people who post as seen in some posts about this matter here. I do what I do best - entice people into debates and extremes hoping that some good will come out of it. Nobody likes to tackle certain things but discussion and keeping at it until a solution is reached is what is important. War is always same. Regardless of reason, its only purpose is to take lives and bring misery. I do not want war but in the end it is always inevitable, at least that is what history teaches. What is being done today by us (the US) and other countries helps little or does not help at all to solve the issue of DPRK and more importantly their people. US has it's own issues and does the rest of the world. What they are doing is meddle but a little so that they can claim they are good and they are helping. As often is the case unless there is a direct benefit in helping no "real" help will be given by US and other countries alike. I agree that force is not always the answer but sometimes it is necessary as much as the other solutions. It is always sad and terrible when things that happen in DPRK happen but they will always happen somewhere to someone. Now, in my opinion, I would resolve the issue of DPRK like this. Remove all imposed sanctions. The people in power are well in power and they have and take what they need. They are not hungry, cold or need anything that sanctions would not let them have. Sanctions mainly target the people of the country, people who are hungry and cold and who need things that sanctions take away. At the same time leaders who have everything use those sanctions to sway people by saying things such as "look at the US, they do not want to give us food, oil..." thus trying to make themselves look as a good guy. I would provide all the help they need, from food, oil and whatever else. I would pour information and "knowledge" into the country. I would let people know we were there if they ever need us. If DPRK officially complained, as I would do all of the things above openly, I would tell them sorry, not planning to stop, deal with it and if you think of using military to deal with it, bring it on for I will destroy you. Tyrants are usually cowards who can do little themselves. Kim, if still alive, is probably nothing more then a puppet. Now, this might not work, it might - what is necessary is to talk about it, argue and eventually come to a solution and then stick to what has been decided on...

Ely
Ely

"This isn’t simply a matter of oppression of freedom of speech, worship, illegal wiretapping, high taxes and working conditions: it is the means of survival." Deadly right, Harvey. Was it the US you were talking about 'cause it sounds so familiar to me and I have never been to DPRK. I must be experiencing a deja vu, guys. Where do you actually live? Wake up the American Dream is over. It was just a dream.