North Korean Labor Camps

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North Korean Labor Camps VICE Documentary

Founder of VICE Shane Smith spends an eternity on a train and hops out at the end of the line in Siberia to investigate logging camps that use North Korean slave labor.

While on his way to uncover labor camps setup by Kim Jong Il and North Korea as a way to bring in hard currency for their impoverished nation, Shane Smith gets re-accustomed with how to handle Russian alcoholics aboard the trans-Siberian railway.

After many days on trains and much vodka Shane Smith arrives in Tynda but has to dodge the Russian secret police – the FSB. After sidestepping the authorities and boarding a single carriage train to the middle of nowhere Shane Smith arrives at a North Korean labor camp.

Accompanied by the former chief of police Shane Smith and Simon break into a disbanded North Korean labor camp to explore the propaganda and the “Laboratory of Kim Jong Il”. On their way out with their arms full of “memorabilia” Shane Smith and Simon fear that they’ve been caught but end up being introduced to a real North Korean labor worker by two Russian scrap metal dealers.

Shane Smith and Simon head off to Tataul and link up with a member of the local mafia known as “The Fish”. From there they drive out into the forest and into an active North Korean labor camp in the middle of Siberia where they meet North Korean workers who inadvertently admit that living conditions back in their homeland were tough- something that would never of be mentioned back in their police-state.

More adventures in the middle of nowhere; Shane Smith and Simon are introduced to more North Korean workers by their gold-teethed guide. Here they find out that many workers are being stationed in the camps for upto 10 years but the conversation halts when the managers or the logging camp arrive.

The FSB (Russian secret police), North Korean secret police and the local militia all decide to find out what Shane Smith has been getting upto, so the only logical thing to do is make a run for the border.

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