“…The UN estimates there are currently up to 120,000 prisoners in these camps and that hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have perished in them over the course of more than five decades.It is not unusual for entire families, including young children, to have been incarcerated as a form of collective punishment against a single malcontent who committed the same sort of anti-state activities as Gim.
After reaching South Korea, Gim worked with some of the brokers who try to facilitate the escape of family members left behind in North Korea — for a fee. “I sent several people to find my family,” he said. “But I could not find them.”Although he doesn’t know exactly what happened to them, he has heard they’re all dead.“It may be nostalgia and revenge for my family that’s driving me to make films about human rights,” he said.The country is no longer in the grips of the extreme famine of the 1990s, when experts believe that roughly one in 10 North Koreans — as many as 3 million people — died of hunger.Yet even today, the United Nations estimates that 40 percent of the population in the provinces remains malnourished. Recent defectors continue to report deaths from starvation…”