Amnesty: NKorea steps up controls near gulag

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Associated Press

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 8 at 3:36 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Amnesty International officials scrutinized new satellite imagery of a notorious North Korean prison camp, what caught their attention was not what was happening inside the fence but outside it.

A network of guard posts enclosing a valley and a small town indicated not an expansion of the sprawling Camp 14, as originally thought, but authorities' control of those living beyond the camp's perimeter.

The rights group isn't sure why that's happening but says it's another good reason to step up scrutiny of human rights conditions in the secretive nation, with its unparalleled restrictions on citizenry and its vast gulag.

Amnesty wants the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry on abuses in North Korea — even as international pressure grows on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

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