One of the survivors, Shin Dong-hyuk, even likened the horrors of the camps to a Holocaust in progress.
Shin spent his first 23 years in a prison camp in the secretive country, where he said he was tortured and subjected to forced labour before making a spectacular escape seven years ago, and giving the outside world a rare first-hand account of life inside the camps.
While Shin's comparison with Nazi concentration camps, where the majority of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust were murdered, may seem extreme, another North Korean prison camp survivor, Chol-Hwan Kang, agreed with the analogy, News.co. au reports.
Kang told a France-based news agency that ‘fundamentally, it is the same as Hitler's Auschwitz,’ referring to one of the Nazi era's most notorious death camps.
Shin and Kang described life in the camp as defined by hunger and violence.
Kang said ‘daily he saw torture, and people dying of malnutrition and starvation.’
According to the report, Shin still carries the scars of his experience on his body.
He revealed the missing tip of his middle finger, which he says was chopped off by a prison guard as punishment after he dropped a piece of machinery in a factory.
According to the report, both men say the international community must do more to help North Koreans, with Kang insisting the world should take advantage of growing feelings of opposition within the communist state.
Sydney: North Korea’s prison camps are a closed-off world of death, torture and forced labour where babies are born to be slaves like their parents, two survivors have revealed.
First Published: Friday, February 22, 2013, 15:35