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Youth Labor Camps A Big Hit In North Korea

North Korean kids forced to work on the railroad in one of many youth labor camps

A government news agency prints congratulatory statement lauding the success of their ‘Youth Coal-Mining Camp’ programs.


North Korean poor children enslaved

It’s no secret that North Korea has a long history of enslaving its people as needed to reach production goals of whatever it is they need at that time. It’s also no secret that they enslave children as young as five to work in many various types of ‘Youth Camps.’

With the prevailing views towards child labor and child abuse throughout most of the world, logic would seem to dictate that the ruling leader of a nation that employs such practices would want to keep it out of view to the rest of the world. But logic doesn’t seem to be a strong suit of the North Korean leadership.

Instead of keeping such frowned-upon practices out of the limelight, North Korea proudly publishes a story that boasts about its successful use of youth labor. And they do it in the largest newspaper in the country, the Pyongyang Times.

North Korea has a huge network of “youth camps” set up all across the country. They have youth camps for mining coal, copper, aluminum and most other precious minerals. They have youth oil drilling camps, railroad construction and repair camps, mass manufacturing camps and the list goes on and on.

It goes without saying that these camps do not have weenie roasts over an open fire or hikes into the woods to learn about mother nature. And they aren’t voluntary. If your parents are poor, you’re in. If your parent(s) were jailed by the government because they made some type of comment that made them a threat to the North Korean regime, you’re in. Steal an apple from a food stand because you’re hungry and have no money, you’re in.

That’s the way it goes in North Korea these days and over the last several decades. Before we get to the newspaper article, let’s cover two things. First, the word “camp” in North Korea is synonymous with the word “prison”. Second, in the article the writer refers to the phrase “Chollima speed”. Chollima is a mythological winged horse that is said to have such great speed that no mortal man can mount him. So Chollima speed is just a way of saying it happened faster than thought possible.

Here, word-for-word, is the article published this week on the front page of the Pyongyang Times:

“The Sunchon Area Youth Coal-mining Complex is one of the country’s leading coal producers.
Under leadership of President Kim Il Sung, it was established on September 15 1977 when the campaign to create the Chollima speed was sweeping the whole country.
Over the past 40 years, it has developed into a large coal production base with three large mines, two prospecting corps, several factories and other supply units.
The February 8 Jiktong Youth Coal Mine, Chonsong Youth Coal Mine, Ryongdae Coal Mine under the complex have boosted production every year by applying rational management methods. They focuses on prospecting, tunnelling, perpetuated pits, material and technological foundations and repair.
In pursuit of new promising coalfields, the complex has developed many coalfields over the past decades, with coal pits with a combined capacity of hundreds of thousands of tons put into operation in two coal-mining areas between last year and this year.
An estimated one-million-metre-section has been propped up at major excavation pits. The adoption of advanced hewing methods leads to boost in output and application of different blasting methods according to rock conditions results in speedy mining.
Conveyor belts and cableways are available in all mines improving the capacity of mining and transport. In particular, the introduction of cableways makes it possible to double the efficiency of transport.
The online production control and real-time output monitoring systems and the computer-aided mining process design help put production on a more scientific basis.
A concrete prop factory with a capacity of tens of thousands of cubic metres runs in the Sunchon area, satisfying the needs for concrete props.
Livestock farms produce hundreds of tons of meat every year. And other supply facilities provide miners with good material and cultural living conditions.
The complex boasts 27 labour heroes, two deputies to the Supreme People’s Assembly, 75 merited miners and many other laureates. It exceeded the peak year level in production last year”.


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