Reporter Blaine Harden from the Los Angeles Times posted a thought-provoking article today about a Real Life Hunger Games. A real life hunger fight that often ends in death.
I felt it was a very powerful read and wanted to share it with everyone. The article is not meant to scare but more meant to show everyone that the idea of a real life Hunger Games has the possibility to become something way more than fiction, and in some parts of the world it is their life.
***In North Korea, children are bred like livestock in labor camps. They are taught to betray their parents. They are worked to death
Joining my 9-year-old daughter and a sizable slice of the American population, I queued up last week to watch”The Hunger Games.”My daughter had just read the book and was giddy with excitement. Reviewers had reassured me that scenes in the film showing children fighting each other to the death on orders of a totalitarian state had been carefully edited.
Still, the movie turned my stomach — and not because of what I saw on the screen. What flashed through my mind were images of North Korea. There, in a real totalitarian state, children are bred like livestock in labor camps. They are taught to betray their parents. They are worked to death.
The Kim family dynasty — founder Kim Il Sung, his son Kim Jong Il, who died in December, and Kim Jong Un, the third-generation successor — has presided over this human rights catastrophe for more than half a century without provoking much interest, understanding or outrage from the American public.
Make-believe dystopias, it seems, are easier on our eyes and kinder to our conscience. In “The Hunger Games,” the evil regime is no match for Katniss Everdeen, played by the well-nourished Jennifer Lawrence. But in North Korea’s labor camps, the captives are always hungry and the games are always rigged.
There are about 200,000 inmates in six camps, the largest of which is 31 miles long and 25 miles wide, an area larger than the city of Los Angeles. According to the testimony of camp survivors, prisoners live and die without soap, socks, underwear, toilet paper or sanitary napkins. They are forced to do hard labor while subsisting on a starvation diet of corn, cabbage, salt — and the occasional rat. As they age, they lose their teeth, their gums turn black, their bones weaken and they hunch over at the waist. They usually die of hunger-related illness before turning 50.
North Korea says the camps do not exist. Its diplomats refuse to discuss them. But they are clearly visible on Google Earth. Had the movie audience been interested, they could have used their smartphones and found high-resolution satellite pictures of the camps.
I learned about daily life in these camps from Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person known to have been born in one of them and escape to the West. Shin was born in Camp 14 in 1982 after guards selected his mother and father for a “reward marriage” and instructed them to have sex. Shin was 14 when he was forced to watch camp guards hang his mother and shoot his brother.
Years later, in interviews for a book about his life, Shin told me he was responsible for these executions. He had memorized camp rule No. 1: “Any witness to an attempted escape who fails to report it will be shot immediately.” After overhearing his mother and brother discussing escape, he betrayed his family in order to save his life, please his jailers and earn extra food. His snitching, though, did him no good. He was tortured for suspected involvement in the escape and received no extra food.
There is more to this extraordinary tale of escape and survival. Click HERE to finish the article.
Source: Los Angeles Times