In Bangkok this week, President Bush used long words — multiparty talks, security guarantees, long-range missiles — to discuss the problem of North Korea with North Korea’s neighbors. Here in Washington, on the other side of the globe, a small organization called the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea will today use pictures to discuss the problem of North Korea with anyone who wants to listen. The pictures that the committee has procured — and now published, together with a report called “The Hidden Gulag” — are satellite photographs of North Korean concentration camps. With remarkable clarity they show, for example, the contours of Yodok, one of the most notorious prison camps in North Korea: the barracks and “villages” inhabited by different categories of prisoners, including political prisoners; the mines, the flour mill, the farms where prisoners work; the cemetery. They also show the outlines of Bukchang, another vast camp, including its cement factory, its hospital, its punishment barracks, its school for prisoners’ children. Distinct objects, including the high walls that enclose the camps, are clearly visible.
The rest of it is today’s Required Reading.