Author(s): Blaine Harden
Introducing the incredible story of Shin Dong-hyuk – the only person born in a North Korean gulag ever to escape...
Twenty-six years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labor camp is a "complete control district", a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life. Inmates work 12 to 15-hour days in the camp – mining coal, building dams, sewing military uniforms – until they are executed, killed in work-related accidents or die of illness that is usually triggered by hunger. No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped.
No one except Shin.
This is his story.
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Blaine Harden is a contributor to the Economist, based in Seattle, having completed a tour as the Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo. He is the prize-winning, acclaimed author of two books: Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent (Norton, 1990) and A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia (Norton, 1996).