SAN JOSE – Google’s top man Eric Schmidt traveled to North Korea earlier this month, a country with still much restricted access and where very few individuals have access to the internet.
NDJ World | Published: Jan 25 2013 High Tech→Lifestyle
Schmidt’s trip was highly criticized but now, thanks to Google Earth, global experts are now able to collect much desired information about the still very mysterious North Korea; in particularly the death camps in Pyongyang.
Pyongyang has always maintained the death camps don’t exist but human rights activists insist there are at least 10 such places in operation holding at least 200,000 people.
Joshua Stanton, a lawyer and blogger, collect all bits of information about the North Korean death camps he can get his fingers on. Thanks to Google Earth he has been able to put 6 camps on the map; 3 of those camps he discovered himself.
Stanton tells the Irish RTE News: “What Schmidt did or didn’t do in North Korea will probably be forgotten in a few weeks. But what Google does well, how indirect it may be, by helping people getting to know the truth about North Korea will probably determine the history of that country one day.”
“Thanks to the satellite photos you get to see the death camps, how big they are, where the guard posts are, how the fences run across the compounds, the prisons, the coalmines, the barracks,” Stanton says.
“If you don’t know what you are looking at you think you are seeing villages,” Stanton says. “I guess they were intentionally designed that way, to get absorbed by the landscape surrounding them.”
North Korean death camps are as infamous as they are mysterious. Few if any, individuals who managed to escape the camps speak about hard labor, torture, little food and immense loyalty to the system punishable by death for even the slightest disobedience.
Those who seemingly have first hand knowledge about the death camps talk about violence, women and children being raped regularly, prisoners are enticed to stone each other and piles of dead bodies that are being eaten by rats and dogs.
At Kamp 22, one of the camps Stranton talks about in his blog, allegedly has an annual death toll from 1500 to 2000 prisoners, including children; a drop in a bucket for a place that allegedly houses 50,000 men, women and children.
People locked up in the death camps aren’t just criminals but anyone who opposed the regime. They are kept there for reportedly 3 generations.
Stranton appreciates the work Google Earth does to bring these camps in sight and make the world aware of the horrific crimes against humanity that are unfolding while the rest of the world is tricked into believing North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong Un isn’t a dictator.
“The vastly improved high res satellite images brought to us by Google Earth make it now possible to identify barracks and housing and locate places were people are being executed,” says Joshua Stranton.
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