Trump’s historic opportunity to press Kim Jong-un on the estimated quarter million North Koreans held in prison camps

SINGAPORE – Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump meet on Tuesday 12 June for an historic meeting in Singapore in an attempt to reconcile the two countries at least in some small way. The US President Donald Trump called the meeting a “one time shot” at peace. There has been animosity between the two countries for decades since the Korean war.

North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, which has been threatened with military action by the Trump administration, is predicted to top the agenda. Washington is demanding the complete de-nuclearization of North Korea.

North Korea has already made public indications that it has started the process of de-nuclearization in agreement with U.S. requests. But the legitimacy of those actions and intent are in serious question (see our previous report), since no reporter was allowed close enough to the recent “destruction” of a nuclear test site inside the country to know if it was authentic or not.

However, there are other serious issues Donald Trump may want to call up with Kim Jong-un. Namely, the estimated 250,000 North Koreans held in prison camps within the country – a reality that’s happening right now, at this very moment.

The abusive camps are used as a tool by the Kim regime to keep North Koreans in line. They are a constant threat designed to punish and reform citizens through interrogation-based detention centers, ritual torture and finally, labor camps where they serve their sentence.

A 2017 report by the International Bar Association War Committee offers gut-wrenching details from personal testimonies, video, transcripts and scholarly works about the state of North Korea’s prison camps. One of the judges, a former child survivor of the notorious concentration camp in Auschwitz, said the conditions in North Korea were as bad – or even worse – than what he experienced in the Nazi concentration camp.

This landmark meeting gives President Trump the opportunity to address these abuses and set a course in motion for a new North Korea.

Image: Kim (right) meets with South Korea’s Chief of the National Security Office Chung Eui-yong in Pyongyang on 5 March 2018 in discussion of peace talks between the countries (Credits: Blue House, Public Domain).

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