Shin Dong-hyuk, “The World’s Single Strongest Voice about North Korean atrocities”

We had never heard about the life of Shin Dong-hyuk. A tragic story. A nasty one. The kind that is so shocking and pitiful, that even though you might not remember his name, you will remember his story. He has been described by the United Nations as “the world’s single strongest voice on the atrocities inside North Korean camps, where some 200 000 people are imprisoned”. Shin Dong-hyuk is a North-Korean defector who was unlucky enough to be born in a North Korea slave labor camp – Camp 14. In accordance with Kim II  Sung’s order (he was the nation’s founder), criminal charges are extended to family members across three generations. As Shin Dong-hyuk’s is the nephew of two men of tried to escape North Korea during the 1950 War, he was condemned to live in a prison camp where life expectancy was around 45 years. Brainwashed by guards since his birth, at the age of 14, Shin denounced that his mother was going to escape. He was then forced to see her and his brother’s execution and was later tortured by the umpteenth time. In 2005, along with a friend called Park, he planned to escape the camp by crawling the electric fence around it. As Park was immediately electrocuted, Shin crept over his friend’s body and successfully managed to escape. He is the first North Korean ever to escape a camp and manage to arrive to the West. Today, not only his body is still covered with scars of camp 14, but logically, so is his mind. American journalist Blaine Harden is telling the story of his life in Escape from Camp 14, in an attempt to sensitize people of the horrible reality of life in North Korea – without any doubt the most totalitarian State in modern world.

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