The Real Face of North Korea Is a Prison State

    Olivia Enos

    Security, Asia

    Don’t be fooled by the Olympics.

    Millions around the globe gathered around their TVs beginning Feb. 8 to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a mountainous rural village, 110 miles east of Seoul.

    As the world turned its gaze to the Korean Peninsula, it witnessed North Korea and South Korea unified, together under one flag, during the opening ceremony.

    The symbolic display of unity by the two Koreas has already generated feelings of peace and goodwill on the peninsula. However, the ironic reality is that just 160 miles north of  Pyeongchang is Sariwon City Prison, one of the 30 known political prisons in North Korea.

    In 2017, the crisis in North Korea was the most underreported humanitarian issue globally. With an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 North Koreans imprisoned as political criminals, the crisis in North Korea demands the world’s attention.

    Prisoners are subject to inhumane living conditions and are subject daily to torture, starvation, rape, and execution.

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    The labeling of these “political camps” as such is woefully inaccurate. They are essentially death camps, where North Koreans are sent for violations such as being critical of the Kim Jong Un regime or for practicing Christianity.

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