Thousands slaughtered at nuclear test site

Published by The Mail on Sunday (16th April, 2017)

A North Korean defector claims thousands of political prisoners have been slaughtered as the country tests nuclear weapons.

Kang Chol-Hwan, who spent a decade in a concentration camp, told The Mail on Sunday that detainees were sent to test sites but ‘none of them came back’.

North Korea carries out nuclear weapons work inside Mount Mantap, a 7,234ft granite peak in dense forests. Satellite images indicate the site is being readied for a sixth test as the country seeks to develop missiles that can reach Japan and the United States.

It is known that 120,000 people in the camps have been used as ‘disposable labour’ for work in its mines and tunnels.

Kang, who now runs a respected human rights group, said several defectors told him inmates were fearful of Mount Mantap after so many went there but never returned. ‘To work in a nuclear site you need expensive protective gear, which the regime could not afford,’ he said. ‘And because of sanctions, they could not obtain such vital gear.’

His claim is backed by Ahn Myeong-cheol, who spent eight years as a camp guard in North Korea and admits he helped take 200 young men to the test site in both 1992 and 1993 before he escaped from the country in 1994.

He said: ‘The regime would have needed people who would die because of dealing with contaminated materials after the testing.’

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