Images collected by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea show labour camps continue to be operational, it said in a report.
The group released a statement in light of the new photos: "The North Korean regime’s hiding and distorting the harsh reality of North Korea’s unforgiving political prison camp system is no longer an option," said Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director of the Committee. "With constant satellite imagery, we can maintain a watch over these camps even if no outside entry is allowed."
New satellite images shows penal labour colonies still in use, according to the release. The camp is a collection of interconnected detention facilities covering 87 square miles and surrounded by an electric fence in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province, as the Telegraph writes. "Former guards who have escaped from North Korea say the camp has 1,000 guards armed with machine guns," the report adds.
Satelitte photo of North Korean labor camp no. 22, taken by DigitalGlobe
Around 50,000 inmates are held at the camp, making furniture or working in coal mines or the fields. In total, around 100,000 people are believed to be held in North Korean labour camps.
HRNK, established in 2001 by a distinguished group of foreign policy and human rights specialists, seeks to draw attention to human rights conditions in North Korea.
Earlier this year, a member of the online community reddit translated the text found in illustrations of a reported depiction of life inside one of North Korea's notorious concentration camps, showing horrific torture scenes.