North Korea is arguably the most insulated, repressive nation on Earth, a dystopia with a vast gulag imprisoning 200,000 people, according to Amnesty International. The gulag’s most feared prison is “Total Control Camp 14,” where Shin was born and narrowly survived, and from which he eventually fled. He is believed to be the only person ever to escape.
In Camp 14, children are punished for the political sins of their fathers. Hunger is so omnipotent that every prisoner behaves like “a panicked animal” at mealtimes. Teachers at the camp school beat students to death for minor infractions. Medieval torture devices are employed in dungeon-like underground cells. And human relationships are so degraded that prisoners inform on family members.
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