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North Korea's Concentration Camps Are Growing

A new report sheds disturbing light on the DPRK. Also: Does Dennis Rodman have any idea?

A new publication by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea shows the growth of concentration camps inside the country. From 150,000 to 200,000 citizens (that last figure comes courtesy of Amnesty International) are thought to be detained in one of at least six of the DPRK's internment facilities. In all but one, inhabitants are there for life.

The report contains recent satellite images of one such institution in the northeast of the country, known as Camp 25. The pictures show that the area of the internment center, which increased in size by 72 percent from 2009 to 2010, is still growing. Guards, sentry posts, and what are thought to be a crematory and gallows are all visible, helpfully pointed out here by the Washington Post.

In one of the most restricted countries in the world, little is known about life under Kim Jong Un, despite the best efforts of activists, such as filmmaker Ann Shin, whose documentary The Defector followed two women attempting to make it to China. Every minuscule rapprochement in policy, such as mobile Internet access for foreigners, which gives the world Instagram-size peeks at the country, is countered by grimness, from nuclear tests to rocket launches and verbal bellicosity against the rest of the world.

Following the emergence of these new images, the U.N. yesterday called for an international inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea.

This came the same day as photos emerged of Dennis Rodman courtside with Kim Jong Un. The basketball legend, visiting the country alongside three Harlem Globetrotters and a team from Vice Media who are reportedly filming a documentary of the trip, was later invited to the dictator's palace for a party, an accolade that Eric Schmidt did not manage on his trip earlier this year.

[Image via The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea]