North Korea’s death camps

Normally I cringe when someone tries to compare any current situation to the Nazi Holocaust. But the ghastly conditions in North Korea’s prison camps are close enough to merit that comparison.

A report in today’s Washington Post tells of a recent visit by three North Korean prison camp survivors to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

Kang [Cheol-hwan, one of the survivors] said that though the scale of the “great madness” shown in displays at the museum was more massive than in North Korea’s camps, “the essence is the same.” Intelligence analysts have estimated that there are at least six camps, with about 200,000 political prisoners.

If anyone requires horrific details, see this report from early this year. With all the talk lately about US plans to turn Guantanamo into a “death camp,” it’s worth reminding ourselves what a real death camp is like.

While we bite our fingernails over the North Korean nuclear threat, I hope we won’t forget the hideous suffering of its people.

A serious question: What can we do?