Posts Tagged ‘Repatriated


North Koreans being Repatriated

Excerpt taken from: The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps by David Hawk U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Kore

When first repatriated from China, North Koreans are questioned in the police jails and
detention facilities about why they went to China, what they did there, and when. More
ominous questions follow, revolving around whether the individual being questioned
had any contact with South Koreans while in China, which is deemed a political offense.
(Many North Koreans do have contact with South Koreans there, as this part of north-
east China, formerly known as Manchuria, is frequented by South Korean businessmen,
students, tourists, missionaries, and refugee and humanitarian aid workers.) Fearing
transfer to a kwan-li-soor kyo-hwa-so, or even execution, repatriated North Koreans
typically deny having had any contact with South Koreans or exposure to South Korean
radio stations, television programs, movies, or music while in China. But such denials
often are not deemed credible by the North Korean police, who literally attempt to beat
the truth out of the repatriated detainees. When the police are satisfied, the repatriates
are transferred to the jip-kyul-sopolice detention centers or ro-dong-dan-ryeon-dae
labor-training camps.

Two phenomena of extreme repression are associated with the treatments meted out to
repatriated Koreans. First, the jip-kyul-so, despite the shortness of sentences served
there, are characterized by very high levels of deaths in detention from inadequate food
combined with excessively hard labor — most seriously affecting those detainees lacking
nearby relatives to bring them extra food. (Many detainees, when they become too ema-
ciated or sick to perform hard labor, are given sick-leave or release so that they can
recover or die at home, reducing the number of deaths in detention.) Second, in at least
three places of detention along the North Korea–China border cited by persons inter-
viewed for this report, North Korean women who were pregnant when repatriated were
subsequently subjected to forced abortions, or if the pregnancy was too advanced, were
allowed to deliver their babies only to have them killed immediately after birth (based
on the possibility that the Korean women had been impregnated by Han Chinese men).


May 2018
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