North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. They are clearly visible in satellite photographs; North Korea insists they do not exist. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Dong-hyuk did.
Born in a prison camp, Shin Dong-hyuk describes how three generations of a family are incarcerated if one family member is considered disloyal. During a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, he talks about his time at the notorious Camp 14 unlocking the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence – he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Shin’s life and remarkable escape offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.
You can read about his harrowing journey in the NY Times bestseller “Escape from Camp 14” available here. Since it was published in March 2012, Escape from Camp 14 has been a bestseller in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore. It has been or will be published in 20 languages, including Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
North Korean prisoner Shin Dong-hyuk escaped after 23 brutal years at Camp 14
Shin Dong-hyuk’s Odyssey told by author Blaine Harden