THE FATE AND WHEREABOUTS OF THE FORMER PRISONERS
of the Sorimchon "Revolutionizing Zone" within Camp 15 Yodok
In the case of the small, demolished section of Camp 15, the names of many of the persons formerly imprisoned there have been recorded and reported by other former prisoners, especially Mr. Jung [Gwang-il]. These persons, like all prisoners in the kwan-li-so political penal labor colonies, were deprived of their liberty without any of the formal judicial processes outlined in North Korea’s criminal law and criminal procedure code and subjected to forced labor under conditions so harsh as to result in high rates of death in detention. The Commission of Inquiry determined that the operation of these prison camps constitutes crimes against humanity.
Of the 181 former prisoners [...], two were executed and one died from torture and beatings. Twenty-three died of malnutrition or starvation. Five were taken away, and their fate is unknown. Fifteen are known to be alive. Several are in South Korea. One is believed to be in the United States. Seven are believed to have been personally ordered released by Kim Jong-il. The status, fates, and whereabouts of 121 are completely unknown.
The missing persons from the Sorimchon section of Camp 15 are doubly disappeared: first, into the prison camp, and again, upon the demolition of the section of the camp where they were subjected to forced labor and political “re-education.”
Excerpts from David Hawk, The Hidden Gulag IV: Gender Repression and Prisoner Disappearances (Washington, D.C.: HRNK, 2015).
This list of Sorimchon prisoners is based on Mr. Jung Gwang-il's three-year imprisonment in the Sorimchon section of Kwan-li-so No. 15 Yodok and his impressive memory. Mr. Jung is the Founder and Executive Director of No Chain: The Association of North Korean Political Victims and Their Families.