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Tag: Stalinism


Crimes against humanity in North Korea’s hidden gulags

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program is a secondary issue. So is its effort to create intercontinental-range missiles, which flopped spectacularly last week.

The problem with North Korea is North Korea itself – the twisted, pathological nature of its dictatorship, which is what makes its possession of nuclear arms so dangerous. A newly released report, “The Hidden Gulag,” has given the world an unprecedented glimpse of the depravity at the core of the regime.

It’s been common knowledge for many years – though denied by the dictatorship – that North Korea runs a system of slave camps modeled on Josef Stalin’s gulags. “The Hidden Gulag,” published by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, documents that system in astounding and damning detail.

The report gleans a surprising amount of evidence – including satellite imagery – of what’s happening inside the obsessively secretive nation. It relies on extensive interviews with survivors of the camps who escaped and miraculously found their way to asylum in South Korea and elsewhere.

Totalitarian governments have routinely subjected their victims to unspeakable misery; that’s hardly news. Stalin, Adolf Hitler and their imitators almost inured the world to arbitrary arrests, mass enslavement, starvation, torture and systematic murder.

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have suffered the same fates for such crimes as having the wrong ideas or knowing too much about South Korea.
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