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N. Korean gulag survivor recounts torture

(LONDON EVENING STANDARD) Shin Dong-huyk is 29 years old. He loves Mexican food and going to baseball games. But any similarities between Shin and other young men ends there. Shin Dong-huyk is the only person known to have escaped from a North Korean prison camp. He was born into a life of enslavement and torture inside Camp 14, where he was starved, beaten and forced to watch the executions of his mother and brother.

He existed within the camp’s concrete walls, which had no running water or furniture, until aged 23, he escaped. He spent one month on the run before sneaking over the border into China, and eventually reaching the safety of the South Korean embassy.

Last month, a book about his life — Escape from Camp 14 — was published, taking its place at the top of the bestseller lists. I met him in London as he prepared to speak at a House of Commons meeting, organised by the Henry Jackson Society, to raise awareness about North Korean prisoners.