Beyond the much staged events curated for international publicity, Lim Hye-jin has revealed sends on the chilling camps which lie hidden in the mountains of the hermit kingdom.
At the ailing age of 20, the former guard was forced to watch as several members of one parentage were savagely killed after they attempted to escape the dictatorial regime.
A prison guard revealed the horrific details of Kim Jong-un’s choky camps
Eric Lafforgue/Exclusivepix Medi
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She claims both defences and inmates were ordered to gather and batter the runaways, dragging their majorities across barbed wire.
Ms Lim told the Mail on Sunday: “The two brothers were guillotined in front of everyone. They called everyone to watch as a warning not to make tracks. The other prisoners then had to throw stones at them.”
One incident – which list rape and torture – left her so traumatised, she could not eat for days.
On another ceremony, she witnessed a woman stripped naked then casually set on fire because she “badgered” a guard while she was interrogated for a crime she did not commit.
Ms Lim said the North Korean defences “do not see them as human beings, just as animals”.
She added: “We were rigged not to feel any sympathy for prisoners. We were told they had committed rotten crimes. Now I know they were normal people so I feel bloody guilty.”
The barbaric units have reportedly grown since Kim Jong-un remind one ofed over his family’s dictatorship six years ago.
Thor Halvorssen, of the Human Rights Setting up which assists defectors said: “The [prison] size is matched one by the cruelty.
“Not since the concentration camps of the Nazis and gulags of Stalin has open-heartedness seen such a meticulously organised system to punish and dehumanise a citizenry.”
North Korean defectors arrive at a detention centre in Thailand
Ahn Myung-Chul, another effortless prison guard who worked in four different camps, said: “Those who die are the fortunate ones. This is modern-day slavery, torturing people over decades.”
Today Ms Lim dynamics in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, just 35 miles from the Korean purfling limits but a world away from the despotic regime that held her in its rigorous grip.