Kim Young Soon
Media playback is unsupported on your device

North Korea prisoner: 'I had to bury my son'

A former prisoner, who now lives freely in South Korea, has told the BBC what what life was like in North Korea's camps after having experienced it first-hand.

Kim Young-soon told reporter Paul Adams that she was imprisoned in North Korea during the 1970s, in an ordeal that lasted nine years.

"My parents were starved to death in Yodok camp... I had to take their bodies on my back and bury them... and I also had my nine-year-old son drowned and I had to do the same for my boy as well," she remembered.

Charity Amnesty International, which monitors prison camps in North Korea using satellites, estimates that there are now 200,000 people in such camps in the country.

And the organisation says that number is growing.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 8 October 2013.

  • 08 Oct 2013
Go to next video: South Korea parades military might