(852)3999 5400(Sales)   WhatsApp: (852)68882160 Contact Us live chat

North Korea war crimes as 'bad as Nazis' - witnesses claim labour camps saw starvation and ''unspeakable'' torture

The report is the most detailed probe undertaken into the warped Kim regime which has had an iron grip over North Korea for six decades.

During the late 1990s, millions starved, or were forced to eat tree bark or grass to survive. The dossier even claims North Koreans resorted to cannibalism and the sale of “human meat” in a bid to survive.

It says: “Testimonies of the sale of human meat almost disappeared after 2000. However, in 2006 there was a re-emergence in testimonies of cannibalism attributed to the economic breakdown and food shortages.”

One witness, known only as Mrs C, testified: “My father, because of malnourishment, passed away early in the morning of February 16, 1996. In April 1997 my older sister and younger sister died of starvation. In 1998, my younger brother died.”

Mums abandoned or killed their babies at birth because they could not feed them. Around 1997, then-leader Kim Jong-il ordered military families to adopt abandoned kids. Those that did were considered heroes.

The military in the Communist regime are accused of stealing food but ordinary people were dealt the harshest of punishments if they stole. One woman testified that she witnessed five public executions during the famine – all shot in the head.

Daily Mirror video grabsInside North KoreaAgony march: Prisoners carry their heavy loads
The regime’s iron grip on power means thousands are sent to prison camps. Three generations of a family were often jailed for political offences if one member was deemed guilty – often with no reason given.

A witness called Kim Hye-sook said she spent 28 years from the age of 13 in such a camp, only to find on release that the family was punished because her grandfather fled to the Republic of Korea during the Korean War.

Former detainee Shin Dong-hyuk was also 13 when he reported a conversation he overheard between his mother and brother in which they talked about escaping from the camp. He had to watch as they were executed.

Within months he was tortured – hung over a fire until his back was burned.


Sexual violence is common in the camps. Witness Ahn Myong-chol said the commander of a state security department unit raped a woman, who became pregnant and gave birth to a baby.

The mother and her child were taken to the detention and punishment block, where the tot was thrown in the feeding bowl for the dogs.

Another witness saw guards take the baby of a mother at the Onsong County detention facility moments after it was born and drown it in a bucket.

Officials thought the mother had slept with a Chinese man and said of the baby: “It doesn’t deserve to live.”

In another detention centre a witness saw a mum forced to suffocate her child moments after giving birth.

Too gruesome for words: Defector's drawings reveal hideous torture techniques
In tragic drawings by defector Kim Kwang-il investigators learned of the regime’s use of a wide range of brutal torture techniques.

And when a prisoner dies, other inmates are often forced to burn the remains.

The report accuses the secretive country of having many torture chambers and gulags and of human rights abuse “on a scale that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world”.

Trying to flee the country is viewed as a terrible crime. In 1996, a witness saw the authorities use a car to drag a “traitor” by a hook in his nose.

North Korea claims the report is based on material faked by hostile forces with US, EU and Japanese support.