He is reputed to be the only known prisoner to have successfully escaped from a "total-control zone" grade internment camp in North Korea.
He was the subject of a biography, Escape from Camp Shin has given talks to audiences around the world about his life in Camp 14 and about the totalitarian North Korean regime to raise awareness of the situation in North Korean internment and concentration camps and North Korea. Shin has been described as the world's "single strongest voice" on the atrocities inside North Korean camps by a member of the United Nations' first They like male dong of inquiry into human rights abuses of North They like male dong.
In Januaryhe recanted aspects of his story, but a majority of experts continued to support his credibility as a victim of North Korean human rights abuses. The following is Shin's biography as told by him prior They like male dong which he later partially recanted.
He was born to two prisoners who were allowed to marry as a reward for good work, although "neither bride nor groom had much say in deciding whom they would marry. Shin lived with his mother until he was He rarely saw his father who lived elsewhere in the camp and was allowed to visit a few times a year. According to Shin, he saw his mother as a competitor for their insufficient food rations,  and consequently had no bonds of affection with his parents or his brother, Shin He Geun.
Shin went to primary and secondary school while in the camp. The secondary school was "little more than slave quarters from which he was sent out as a rock picker, weed puller and dam laborer. His education did not include propaganda or even basic information about North Korea. The personality cult around Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il was also absent; for example there were no portraits of the Kim leaders on display.
In one of Shin's prison cells, where he was held during an interrogation, he said he had electricity and running water. Shin's mother lived in a house with multiple rooms in a "model village" in the camp, given to women who had children. Shin experienced considerable violence in the camp,  and witnessed dozens of executions every year. When Shin was 13 years old, he overheard his mother and brother planning an escape attempt.
Shin had just They like male dong eating watery corn porridge, and was trying to sleep until he overheard that He Geun, his brother had run from They like male dong cement factory. Shin's mother, Jang was preparing rice, a symbol of wealth in North Korea for the escape from Camp Shin was jealous his brother was getting rice. Shin's teacher was already in the gated Bowiwon village, so Shin told the night guard of his school with another boy, as informing was something he was taught to do from an early age, and he hoped to be rewarded.
They were driven back to the main camp wearing blindfolds and their hands tied behind their backs. Camp officials then forced Shin and his father to watch the public executions of Shin's mother and brother; he then understood he had been responsible for the executions.
Shin stated that at the time of the executions of his brother and mother, in his teenaged mind he felt they "deserved" their fates for both breaking prison rules and, conversely, not including him in the escape plan. In interviews to South Korea's National Intelligence Service and others, and in his Korean language memoir, Shin had said that he had no prior knowledge of the escape. It was only when talking to Harden that he revised his story and said that he had informed on his mother and brother.
While working at a textile factory, Shin became friends with a year-old political prisoner from Pyongyang surnamed Parkwho was educated and had traveled outside North Korea. Park had been They like male dong East Germany and China.
Park said that he shook Kim Jong Il's hand. Park told him about the outside world, such as stories about food that Shin had not experienced before. He was excited by the idea of being able to eat They like male dong much food as he wanted to, which Shin considered to be the essence of freedom.
Shin decided to attempt to escape with Park. Noting the long interval between the guards' patrols, the two waited until the guards were out of sight, then made their attempt to escape.
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Shin managed to pass over the wire using Park's body as a shield to ground the current, but still suffered severe burns and permanent scars when his legs slipped onto the lowermost wire as he crawled over Park's body. After escaping, Shin broke into a nearby farmer's barn and found an old military uniform.
He survived by scrounging and stealing food. Eventually, he reached the northern border with China along the Tumen River and bribed destitute North Korean border guards with They like male dong and cigarettes. In JanuaryShin contacted Blaine Harden and recanted parts of his story. He said a complete revision of the book would have taken months and he wanted to publish the new version as soon as possible.
Shin told Harden that he had changed some dates and locations and incorporated some "fictive elements" into the story.
Shin said that he did not spend his entire North Korean life at Camp He said that he was born there, but when he was young, his family was transferred to the less severe Camp 18, and spent several years there.
He said that not only did he inform They like male dong the escape plan of his mother and brother, but also falsely implicated them in murder.
He said that he twice escaped from Camp The first time, inhe was caught within days. The second time, inhe said They like male dong crossed into China, but was caught after four months by Chinese police and sent back to North Korea.
He said that he was tortured in Camp 14 inwhen he was 20 years old not 13, as previously statedas punishment for his escape. He said he was repeatedly burned and tortured in an underground prison They like male dong six months. As a result of education in Camp 18, and his previous escapes, he said he wasn't as naive about the outside world when he made his final escape from Camp 14 as he had previously described.
In Escape from Camp 14 Blaine Harden commented that, "Shin was the only available source of information about his early life. We can expect that this would have a major impact on every aspect of who he is, on his memory, his emotional regulation, his ability to relate to others, his willingness to trust, his sense of place in the world, and the way he gives his testimony. A Russian-born Korean specialist Andrei Lankov commented that "some suspicions had been confirmed when Shin suddenly admitted what many had hitherto suspected", described Harden's book as unreliable, and noted that defectors faced considerable psychological pressure to embroider their stories.
The writer Simon Winchester commented that the "authority" of the UN Commission of Inquiry report was "somewhat challenged" by this revelation. Shin explained he did not tell the full story because he wished to hide "that my mother and brother were executed because of my report," saying "the most important reason why I could not reveal all of the truth was because of my family. Then I realized I should not hold anything back.
After spending some time working as a laborer in different parts of China, Shin was accidentally discovered by a journalist in a restaurant in Shanghaiand the reporter recognized the importance of his story.
The journalist brought Shin to the South Korean embassy for asylum,  and from there he traveled to South Korea, where he underwent extensive questioning from authorities to determine if he was a North Korean assassin or spy.
Afterwards, his story was broadcast by the press and he published a Korean language memoir. Shin later moved to southern Californiachanging his name from Shin In Geun to Shin Dong-hyuk in "an attempt to reinvent himself as a free man,"  and worked for Liberty in North Korea LiNK They like male dong, a non-profit organization that raises awareness of human rights issues in North Korea and provides aid to North Korean refugees.
They like male dong AugustShin gave several hours They like male dong testimony to the United Nations ' first commission of inquiry into human rights abuses of North Korea.
Shin described some aspects of his personal life in South Korea in a Financial Times interview, on popular culture saying that "I don't really know anything about music.
I can't sing and I don't feel any emotion from it. But I do watch lots of films and the one that moves me the most is Schindler's List ". I look at the colours and the way the food is presented on the plate but it's very difficult to choose. Nowadays I try to order only as much as I can handle. I contact them often.
Whenever I have a holiday, I visit them. I think of them as good parents and I try to be a good son.
In DecemberShin wrote an open letter in the Washington Post to American basketball star Dennis Rodman who visited North Korea a number of times as a self-avowed "friend for life"  of Kim Jong-un. On June 30, Shin Dong-hyuk became a father. His wife Leeann gave birth to Lucas Yohan Shin. His father denied Shin had grown up They like male dong a prison camp.