It is amazing the things that you can find using Google Earth. Some of them are funny, some of them are interesting, but some can also reveal things that some countries would rather keep a secret. North Korea is one of those countries, and regardless of their denials, Google Earth is revealing the other big secret about the country – the vast network of prison camps.
North Korea is a land full of mystery and dark secrets. Besides their nuclear program the country is believed to hold as many as 200,000 people in prison camps, camps that are reputed to be hell on earth.
While very few people escape these camps those that have, and have managed to make it to freedom outside of North Koreas borders, tell tales of physical and sexual abuse, massive hunger, rampant disease, and of being worked to death. They tell of people who survive by eating rats and picking corn kernels from animal waste.
In spite of these stories Pyongyang continues to insist to the world that these camps don't exist. They claim that any supposed tales of prison camps is just western propaganda.
Except it isn't propaganda and researchers believe they have proof of their existence thanks to Google Earth maps and that new ones are still being built. On January 18, 2013, the North Korean Economy Watch site posted that they had discovered a new camp that had been built alongside an already existing camp in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province.
Analyst Curtis Melvin used newly released Google Earth images to see that there is indeed a new camp alongside the already known Camp 14 and that its perimeter fence goes for nearly 13 miles. Additionally he says the fence has two checkpoints, six guard posts, along with a number of accommodation units and office buildings.
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, along with earth-imagery company DigitalGlobe, recently released its second version of the Hidden Gulag report which is based on images taken by satellites. The report says that Google Earth is an important tool for them and allows for shining a light on North Korea's prison camp system.
via Business Insider