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Date : October 21, 2014
N. Korean defectors to testify at U.N. on gulags
   http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141021000468 [785]
Two North Korean defectors said Tuesday they will visit the United Nations next week to join a forum on political prison camps in the communist nation.

The forum to be hosted by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) comes as the U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to discuss the North Korean human rights issue next week.

In the event on Wednesday (local time), the two defectors -- Jung Gwang-il and Kim Yong-soon -- plan to introduce their experiences of the Yodok concentration camp in South Hamgyeong Province.

Jung, 51, has said he was held in Yodok from 2000-2003 after being falsely accused of spying while working at a trade firm.

Kim, 77, claims she was sent there due to her friendship with Sung Hye-rim, the first wife of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. She has said that she spent a decade in the camp from 1970.

Earlier this month, Choe Myong-nam, a North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of U.N. affairs, publicly said his country operates "reform through labor camps."

"Both in law and practice, we do have reform through labor detention camps -- no, detention centers -- where people are improved through their mentality and look on their wrongdoings," he said at a U.N. briefing.


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