|Political Prison Camp||Official Name||Location||Size||Prisoners||Comments|
|Kaechon Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 14||Kaechon, South Pyongan||155 km² (60 mi²)||15,000||Shin Dong-hyuk testimony; mining area|
|Yodok Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 15||Yodok County, South Hamgyong||378 km² (146 mi²)||46,500||Best-known camp; total control zone and revolutionizing zone|
|Hwasong Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 16||Myonggan County, North Hamgyong||549 km² (212 mi²)||10,000||Near nuclear test site (Mantapsan)|
|Pukchang Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 18||Pukchang County, South Pyongan||73 km² (28 mi²)||50,000||Mining area; total control zone and revolutionizing zone|
|Hoeryong Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 22||Hoeryong, North Hamgyong||225 km² (87 mi²)||50,000||Near Chinese border; mining area; often called Camp 22|
|Chongjin Political Prison Camp||Kwan-li-so No. 25||Chongjin, North Hamgyong||0.25 km² (0.1 mi²)||3,000+||Penitentiary style|
It is no news to hear about the human rights abuses in North Korea, especially those pertaining to the conditions inside its prisons. Unsanitary conditions, and inhumane treatment of prisoners are the main cause of high mortality rates, causing prisoners to die of starvation, illnesses and from torture.
While the DPRK goverment denies allegations of human rights violations in prison camps, testimonies from former prisoners and North Korean defectors say otherwise.
Most of these prisoners are detained under the accusation of ‘political offences’ and are subject to guilt by association punishment, without any lawsuit or conviction.
Many of the internment camps are located in secluded locations such as mountain valleys. The estimated number of prisoners is estimated to be about 200,000, and at these camps, public execution is not uncommon. Harsh punishment is meted out to those who are ‘work too slowly’ or are disobedient to the law. Those detained are forced to perform dangerous and laborious work in mining and agriculture, and with little food, it is no surprise that an estimated 40% of prisoners die from malnutrition.
Today there are six political prison camps in North Korea (see above table), with an average size of 200 square kilometres and 40,000 prisoners in each camp.
Some of the prominent accounts / testimonies from former prisoners would be Shin Dong-hyuk who escaped from Camp 14, which you can check out in this biography: Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden. (Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11797365-escape-from-camp-14)