Author Topic: Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom  (Read 10645 times)

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Offline Chris_

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Released March 29, this book just hit the shelves.  I saw a review of it online and had to get a copy as soon as I got home.  

I can't wait to start reading it.

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Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

From the preface:
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His first memory is an execution. He walked with his mother to a wheat field near the Taedong River, where guards had rounded up several thousand prisoners. Excited by the crowd, the boy crawled between adult legs to the front row, where he saw guards tying a man to a wooden pole. Shin In Geun was four years old, too young to understand the speech that came before that killing. At dozens of executions in years to come, he would listen to a supervising guard telling the crowd that the prisoner about to die had been offered “redemption” through hard labor, but had rejected the generosity of the North Korean government. To prevent the prisoner from cursing the state that was about to take his life, guards stuffed pebbles into his mouth, then covered his head with a hood.


Harden, Blaine (2012-03-29). Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (Kindle Locations 43-49). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
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Offline Ballygrl

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Just downloaded it to my Kindle!
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"The nation that couldn’t be conquered by foreign enemies has been conquered by its elected officials" odawg Free Republic in reference to the GOP Elites who are no difference than the Democrats

Offline whiffleball

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That sounds like one that will be hard to stop reading once started. Just reading the reviews is chilling.  It also makes me feel all the more blessed to have the life I have here.

Five Years to Freedom is on Kindle, too.  An older, totally engrossing true horror story.

Offline Ballygrl

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I was reading the reviews, I think that's the 1st time I ever saw 15 reviews and they were all 5 stars.
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"The nation that couldn’t be conquered by foreign enemies has been conquered by its elected officials" odawg Free Republic in reference to the GOP Elites who are no difference than the Democrats

Offline Chris_

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:yawn: I coudln't put it down.  Up all night.  Again.

It references "the writings and sayings of Kim Il Sung" which I wasn't familiar with.  The man was a monster. 

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The internment camps operate under a “guilt-by-association” system (yeon-jwa-je), which means that extended family members of the accused – for up to three generations – are also punished. This punishment-by-lineage system exploits the significance of familial bonds and personal sacrifice within Korean culture, and empowers Kim Jong Il’s regime to persecute by birthright and to exert discipline and control through fear of such persecution.

North Koreans are most commonly imprisoned in these internment camps for their alleged political defection, which includes the happenstance of an individual’s lineage or ancestry, flight to China, or for any perceived challenge to Kim Jong Il’s regime. Entire families may be abducted and imprisoned because of their biological relationship to an alleged defector.  The process of imprisonment or internment thus violates international law by violating the basic human rights to liberty and security, non-discrimination, privacy, free thought, free movement, and judicial protection.

http://www.northkoreanow.org/the-crisis/north-koreas-gulags/
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Offline Chris_

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A documentary based on the book was released on Netflix a couple of months ago.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2149190/plotsummary
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Offline Eupher

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A documentary based on the book was released on Netflix a couple of months ago.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2149190/plotsummary

If this is the same kid that was on 60 Minutes(?) a few weeks ago, he narked on his parents ostensibly for food. They were beaten and/or killed because of their activities, which I forget except that they were forbidden. That's not something that is laudable, but understandable considering the political, moral, and completely alien decay that the Norks have perpetrated on their people.
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