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North Korea barbaric regime revealed: 'My children had to watch hundreds of executions in the street'The sickening routine was heralded by the loud horns of North Korean Army trucks, followed by the hammering of fists and boots on nearby neighbours’ doors. Pistol-wielding security thugs would line up villagers, insisting their children stood still and waited for the most obscene street show on Earth. They would then watch in horror as a soldier dragged out a weeping suspect, who would then be shot in the back of the head at point-blank range. Choi Eun-Ok, a nurse who defected to the South from leader Kim Jong-un’s regime just three months ago, recalls the horror with a blank expression. Our translator can barely hear her as she is so used to whispering through fear of eavesdropping spies misinterpreting her conversations. She says: “I saw hundreds of executions between 1998 and 2005, perhaps as many as three in one week and all of them in the street in front of me and my family. “This period was when we saw the most regular executions, between 1998 and 2005, when it became really bad. Everyone in the village – children and adults – were forced to watch.” Dogma: Kim Jong Uns followers (Image: Gett

y) Mrs Choi, 54, fires us a stern look that emphasises the importance of what she is about to say and continues: “Both of my children saw the executions because the soldiers insisted. “They

want to convince everyone at a very early age that they have to obey and they have to witness what will happen if they do not obey. “I had no choice – each time they came to our home and ordered us all to bring out our children to watch people getting executed.” What she then tells us exposes the level of cruelty the security forces

will descend to as they create a climate of fear. She says: “The soldiers would shoot the people whilst the victims were wearing thick clothes to keep out the cold. “At least this meant we would not have to see too much blood. “But after 1998 they wanted to make the killings more horrifying for us and scare us into not disobeying the system so they forced victims to come out in thinner clothing. “We could see so much blood. It made us much more fearful.” Brainwashed: Kids indoctrinated (Image: AP) It is a measure of how the barbaric system made civilians grateful for small mercies when she holds her head in her hands and says quietly: “It seems awful but somehow killing people in thick clothes seemed less cruel. When they started shooting people in thin clothes sometimes my children would not be able to eat for days they were so disturbed by the exec

utions. “It was terrible. In recent years there has hardly been any food anyway.” Slightly-built Mrs Choi is sitting in the home of Pastor Kim Seung-Eun, 48, w

hose church The Caleb Mission has helped more than 1,000 defectors and refugees escape the hell of North Korea. Now she lives in a bustling South Korean town outside the capital Seoul but even now she has not escaped the immense cruelty of the place she fled. She had spent most of her adult life with her husband and latterly their two children, a boy and a girl in the poor town of Gyung Seong, north east of Pyongyang, close to the Chinese border. Some years ago her son died in a fishing accident, she tells me. Devoted: North Korean children in a parada (Image: AP) But she fled North Korea to find her daughter, who recently crossed the border to China. Sadly she learned her daughter had fallen into the hands of Chinese gangsters who sold her on. She has heard n

othing about her since. Many shady human-trafficking gangs have emerged on the North Korea-China border who sell young girls into prostitution. To search for her daughter, Mrs Choi slipped into China past border guards who were bribed. But she could find no trace of the girl after several weeks. Finally Pastor Kim Seung-Eun, a South Korean campaigner who has smuggled more than 1,000 people out of the North, helped to bring Mrs Choi to

Seoul. There he helped her settle while he and his contacts investigate the girl’s whereabouts, which are still a mystery. Rescue: Pastor Kim Seung Un helps refugees (Image: IAN VOGLER) When asked about her husband, Mrs Choi shakes her

head, stares at the floor and says: “He is still there

.” She weeps as she tells me: “Now I know I have escaped that place and I feel I am safe here but where are my family? My husband and my daughter – I have nothing. I have nothing.” In order to protect family members still stuck in North Korea, we have agreed not to publish details of her husband and have changed her name. Most of the 25,000 North Koreans who have fled to the South since the 1953 armistice still fear the regime’s ruthless network of

spies operating in the region are trying to track them down. Defectors hope that if it is not known they are in South Korea then they will be labelled “missing presumed dead” and remaining relatives will be left alone. Brutal: A North Korean soldier stands g

uard (Image: Reuters) During her life in the North, Mrs Choi has see

n many of her friends and neighbours disappear over the years. She says: “You never knew when you were talking to a friend or simply someone you knew, who was a spy. There were spies everywhere. “You talk to a family member one day and that person could be working for the security people and tell them what you said. “If it was thought harmful to the country or you said anything about Kim Jong-il when he was alive or Kim Jong-un now you’d disappear. “Sometimes we saw security people come for them and they would be taken off to prison. “One year the father of a family we knew was taken to

one of the two prisons in our area and nobody knew why. “A year later the security men came and their entire home was emptied of furniture, belongings and clothes. And then the rest of the family, wife and children were taken away. We never saw them again.” Safe: 15 people helped by Pastor Kim Seung-Un (Image: IAN VOGLER) The two main prison camps in the area are Camp 21 and 22, the latter of which is a notorious gulag where many inmates have been killed or die of ill-treatmen

t. Mrs Choi confirmed she had heard of both jails and they were in the area where she once lived. It is feared that as many as 400,000 prisoners in North Korea have died in labour camps in the past 30 years and many were killed by biological or chemical experimentation. Even now Mrs Choi is thin and looks underfed but when she fled North Korea she weighed just six stones. Now she has put on a stone. Occasionally sobbing, she says: “Every day was a struggle to get food. As a family we were able to live on one meal a-day but it was never enough for us. “I gained weight when I moved to the South and thankfully I feel reasonably healthy physically. “But I think of my family. I have my freedom but I don’t really have it as I cannot be free until I know what happened to them. “I think of them all of the time.” North and South Korea tensionsView gallery Our North Korea video shocks the world Our harrowing video revealing the g

rim reality of life in North Korea was picked up by broadcasters around the world yesterday. Over half a million people viewed the exclusive footage on our website exposing the truth that rogue leader Kim Jong-un wants to hide from the outside world. Our front page story uncovering the appalling existence inflicted on his people was picked up by Daybreak on ITV and was the lead story on Sky News – as well as featuring on ITN, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, ABC news in the US and other stations from Denmark to Japan. Several major newspapers in France and Germany followed up our story which had six million page views on The chilling video shows a child of around 10 dying of starvation in a gutter while soldiers close by load enough rice on to trucks to feed families for weeks. As the boy slumps on the grimy kerb in his filthy, oversized army jacket, locals stroll by without a glance. Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now

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