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Page last updated at 06:55 GMT, Thursday, 30 June 2011 07:55 UK

Escaping North Korea's prison camps

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Kim Hye Sook
Kim Hye Sook with two of her paintings.

An estimated 200,000 people are detained in the secretive network of North Korea's prisons, tortured, abused and forced to work in conditions that approach slavery.

Kim Hye Sook spent 27 years in one camp after being interned with her family when just 13 years old.

She married while detained and had two children, but all died before she finally escaped to South Korea in 2008.

She told her story to Today correspondent Mike Thomson.

This item is an extended version of the broadcast package and contains descriptions which some people may find disturbing.


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