STATEMENT OF ROBERTA COHEN, CO-CHAIR, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA ON THE LAUNCH OF “HIDDEN GULAG IV: GENDER REPRESSION AND PRISONER DISAPPEARANCES & CAMP 15 IMAGERY UPDATE” AT THE NEWSEUM, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
I find the reports of David Hawk and Joe Bermudez significant because they make everyone so uncomfortable. Most people don’t want to know about the camps, especially diplomats who hope to negotiate with North Korea, humanitarian organizations on the ground seeking to get along with the host government, and all other parties who want to engage with Pyongyang and feel good about their doing so. These reports provide inconvenient information. It puts a human face on the political prison and re-education camps by providing testimonies of survivors, satellite imagery of camps, and for the first time a list of 181 incarcerated prisoners from Kwan-li-so Camp 15.