A number of North Korean defectors are asserting that radiation from nuclear testing has led to birth deformations, cancer and even death in rural areas of the country.
Lee Jeong Hwa, a North Korean defector, said in an interview with NBC News, “So many people died we began calling it ‘ghost disease.’”
“We thought we were dying because we were poor and we ate badly,” Lee said. “Now we know it was the radiation.”
Lee escaped the dictator ran country in 2010 and had lived in an area that had experienced two detonations.
According to the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, many other defectors are making claims about health effects of nuclear tests.
A woman who fled from an area near the Punggye-ri test site, Rhee Yeong Sil, described the birth defects of a neighbor’s baby:
“We couldn’t determine the gender of the baby because it didn’t have any genitals,” Rhee said. “In North Korea, deformed babies are usually killed. So the parents killed the baby.”
It is a fact that no government in the world is more reclusive, more isolated, more suspicious of contact with the outside world, and more devoted to absolute control and secrecy than North Korea. North Korean refugees have often described their country as one massive prison.
Controlled by ‘Mr. Chairman’ Kim Jong-un, life in North Korea today is less free and less humane than life in any other country now or in modern time.
The regime operates approximately 10 concentration or “re-education” camps for political prisoners. The camps are estimated to hold between 200,000 to 250,000 prisoners in total. The regime uses the camps to punish anyone who fails to adhere strictly and completely to every “law,”. Arrest and confinement can come at any time with no explanation.
North Korea ranks 157th in worldwide life expectancy, an estimated 70 years. South Korea ranks 11th.
What an awful place to be. And Kim Jong-un has nuclear weapons. Scary.