It is alleged that North Korea is using political prisoners to rebuild a destroyed nuclear test site and “bring them to their deaths.”
Punye-ry, considered a threat to the West, was allegedly demolished in 2018, just before the first Trump-Kim summit.
It has now become clear that Kim Jong Un can use prisoners of war for the project.
The South Korean newspaper Daily NK quoted an anonymous source as saying: “Prisoners are brought to their deaths in secret tunnels and places that are too dangerous to send ordinary people.
“They are not given any food above the minimum and are not allowed any food outside. Many of them die at work. “
The source did not name Pungye-ry, but it is the only nuclear test site in the immediate vicinity of the camp he mentioned – Hwasong, also known as Camp 16.
This isolator is located just over 20 km from Pungye-ry. The camp is considered one of the harshest in the country as it was built for prisoners without the possibility of release.
One of the reasons the source believes these prisoners are being used is that Hwaseong has increased the number of some staff.
The source said: “While the number of management personnel remains largely unchanged, the number of guards, security guards and armed transport staff has tripled.
“Such workers are needed to send prisoners to secret labor projects outside the camp walls”
An insider believes that Kim Jong Un’s government has changed its laws to make hard work possible.
They claim that Kim Jong Un transferred responsibility for the camp from the Ministry of State Security to the Ministry of Social Protection.
It is reported that this made it legally possible to transfer prisoners who would not otherwise have been allowed to leave the camp under any circumstances.
“These measures have been taken to ensure that prisoners can be taken by armed guards to work on the construction of tunnels and special bases that are prohibited from visiting,” the source said.
The North Korean Human Rights Committee (HRNK), which has documented detainee camps in the country, said it would monitor satellite imagery for any changes in Hwaseong.
Executive Director Greg Scarlatou said: “As for the use of prisoners in nuclear test tunnels, this is possible, especially given the proximity of Camp 16 to the nuclear test center.
“Using prison work to dig tunnels in hard rocks is unlikely, as it requires heavy-duty perforators, not picks and hammers.
“But the use of prisoners in post-nuclear clean-up operations or in landfill rehabilitation, as described in this report, makes sense to me.”
This is happening as Kim Jong Un continues make a show of North Korean nuclear weaponsfor he wants the world to accept the country as a nuclear power and the United States to lift sanctions.
Only last month, he told his people: “We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our country’s nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace.”
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