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TOKYO (ChurchMilitant.com) - An international judge who survived Nazi concentration camps believes the North Korean prison camps are on a similar level of cruelty, owing to rampant human rights violations.
Thomas Buergenthal, a former judge of the International Court of Justice, spoke of the Communist country's crimes against humanity. One of the world's most accomplished jurists, he was part of an inquiry into North Korea's prison camps by the International Bar Association.
As a child, Buergenthal witnessed firsthand the Nazi's atrocities against Jews and other minorities. Born in 1934 and raised Jewish, he is a survivor of the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen.
At the proceedings in Tokyo on Monday, Buergenthal said, "I believe that the conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible or even worse than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field."
The female expatriate, Ji Hyeon-A, said she escaped from North Korea into China three times and all three times was caught, shipped back to North Korea and assigned to a prison camp. Her fourth and successful escape was into South Korea.
Hyeon-A recalled seeing dogs eat the corpses of prisoners who had died of starvation.
She also described the forced abortions in the prison camp. She herself was the victim of a forced abortion. Her aborted baby's father was from China, and the North Korean government frowned upon "mixing" nationalities.
She said, "My first child passed away without ever seeing the world — without any time for me to apologize."
"Pregnant women were forced into harsh labor all day," Hyeon-A claimed. "At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming, and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers."
North Korea is a Communist rogue nation, headed by the Kim family for decades. It has extremely strict laws, virtually banning its citizens from international travel and emigration.
The North Korean government was founded on the strictly atheistic principles of Communism. Therefore, Christians and other persons of religious faith have to be secretive about their religious beliefs for fear of being arrested and shipped off to the prison camps.