Google Earth Aids Group in Locating North Korean “Body Sites”

I’ve seen this popping up on the internet for the past few years. Looks like it’s starting to accelerate with the help of escaped North Koreans. Via The Federalist

With the support of Transitional Justice Working Group, a South Korean organization based in Seoul, North Korean defectors are using Google Earth to document decades of horror in the north.

375 North Korean defectors were interviewed over a period of two years to identify the locations of murder, cremation, and burial sites.

Most of the sites identified are in North Korea’s North Hamgyong Province, bordering China.

According to the TJWG, “It is our intention to provide our data to the relevant legal authorities at a time when we expect the necessary criminal investigation to take place.”

Fox News reports:

North Korean defectors identified 47 “body sites.”

The researchers used this term because, they said, “While the majority of these sites are burial sites, some of those identified by interviewees were sites where the bodies were not buried but rather abandoned, dumped, hidden without burial, or were storage sites for bodies yet to be buried or cremated.”

According to the organization, data was collected during interviews with the hundreds of North Korean defectors – 100 informants at first, and then another 275 in the second year. They were shown satellite imagery with basic landmark information such as rail lines, to initially orient themselves. Defectors would describe atrocities they had knowledge of, allowing the researchers to note the locations. They also categorized the source’s relationship to the location or the event, indicating if they were physically present, heard or saw directly, heard straight from a victim or heard only as a rumor. The data collected spans decades – not just Kim Jong Un’s current bloody reign, but that of his father Kim Jong Il, the former Supreme Leader, as well.