There is estimated to be as many as 120,000 people being held in North Korean Prison Camps. 400,000 people have died in these camps from torture, starvation, disease, and execution. This is a pressing issue that has been brought into the spotlight by two guys, Daniel and Joshua, through their use of Google Earth technology. Their blog, One Free Korea, is a compilation of Google Earth images taken of North Korean Prison Camps. Through the use of Google Earth technology they were able to map out prison camps and show the world that these places really do exist. The significance of this project, aside from the fact that it was able to draw attention to blatant human rights violations in North Korea, is that these two average guys were able to obtain this very sensitive information from Google Earth.
We really liked how our presentation turned out. The class was very responsive and seemed to enjoy some of the elements that we tried to incorporate. One of the first things that got people involved was a video that we showed. In it Shin Dong Hyuk, one of the only people ever to escape from a North Korean prison camp, recounts his life as a prisoner at one of the labor camps in North Korea. Although his explanation of his life included some disturbing moments, it really brought to life the severity of this situation. This led to a discussion about why this issue isn’t more publicized and why a majority of people in the United States have never even heard of these prison camps. The class discussion was lively and engaging, and led to the exploration of other pressing issues. We explored whether or not North Korea was entitled to privacy within their own borders and what were the potential implications of Google Earth technology on national security. For every question we had for the class, it seemed like the class would immediately raise a new question. This back and forth led to a constructive dialogue that emphasized the potential implications of this groundbreaking technology.
Bielefeld, Daniel. “North Korea’s Largest Concentration Camps on Google Earth.” One Free Korea.
N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. <http://freekorea.us/>.
Dong-hyuk, Shin. “Prison Camp Escapee: North Korea Won’t Change Its Repressive Ways.” CNN. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/opinion/
-Sam & Jack