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Satellite images of North Korea’s largest concentration camp Haengyong
They call it “the Killing Compound” – the area of Camp 22 in North Korea’s largest concentration camp.
Hidden away in the mountains in a remote northeastern corner of North Korea, close to its borders with Russia and China, Camp 22 has been purpose-built for the regime’s scientists to have an unlimited number of prisoners on which to experiment.
Thousands of men, women and children are trucked to the nearby town of Haengyong. There they wait and, just as Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele did at Auschwitz, the North Korean physicians single out those who will die in gas chambers, or in biological tests, or face death in the human dissection rooms.
Those not selected to go to the Killing Compound at once will be kept in other compounds, surviving on minimum rations, to replace those who have died from inhuman experiments.
They are all branded as enemies of the state, “political victims” who have dared to speak out against President Kim Jong Il, the “Dear Leader” of North Korea.
Their “offenses” may have been to allow a portrait of Kim to get dusty – every home must display one. Or not having given the mandatory bow when passing his thousands of posters that line every street.
Now, as the trial of Saddam Hussein draws to its inevitable close in Baghdad, Western intelligence services are building up their files that will enable Kim and senior members of his regime to be indicted for war crimes.
“Just as Saddam cannot escape his role in the war crimes of his regime, so Kim will also face justice.
“North Korea is a real terror state and its leader has to face the international criminal court,” said Dr Norbert Vollersten, a German doctor who treated victims in North Korea and is now a campaigner for regime change in Pyongyang.
“As a German born after the war, I know too well the guilt of my grandparents’ generation for remaining silent,” he says. “We must do everything possible to end Kim’s regime of terror.”
Chilling testimony from those he has helped to escape from North Korea has emerged as a key element in preparing future indictments against Kim and his regime.
The most shocking evidence centers on Camp 22. An MI6 file describes it as “larger than Auschwitz or Dachau.”
“Hundreds of prisoners die there each week, the victims of biological or chemical experiments to test out [chemical and biological] weapons for North Korea’s CBW arsenal,” claims an MI6 report.
In one intelligence file is the allegation that newborn babies are taken from their mothers and injected with biological agents or given injections of chemicals that blister the skin, leaving huge keloids, the sores seen on the bodies of Hiroshima victims.
One woman, Lee Sun-Ko, who escaped from North Korea earlier this year, eventually ended up in America. She told her CIA debriefing officer that Camp 22’s experimental laboratories are buried underground to avoid aerial reconnaissance and bombing.
Lee Sun-Ko’s affidavit includes: “I watched guards select 150 prisoners, mostly women. Some had just given birth. Their babies were ripped from them. Some of the babies were laid face down on the ground and a guard injected them at the top of the spine. Other guards carried the babies away. When the mothers screamed and protested, they were severely beaten.”
David Hawk, a former United Nations official who was involved in monitoring Camp 22, said that while reports of baby-killing are often hard to prove, in the cases he has investigated the evidence is plausible.
“I spoke to eight refugees who had first-hand evidence. Their stories tallied,” said Hawk.
Gordon Thomas is the author of “Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad.” He specializes in international intelligence matters and writes regularly for Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.