Onsong County MPS Detention Centre

Organisation in Charge
Ministry of People's Security
Penal Facility Status

Navigate the Facility

Less than a mile from the border with China, Onsong County MPS Detention Centre is situated in the north of Onsong and is bordered by agricultural fields and the Tumen River. The facility is managed by the Ministry of People’s Security (North Korea’s general police force) at the county level and is staffed by MPS state agents and correctional officers.

In January 2019, Ms. Kim was unlawfully arrested for using a phone to speak with a person living outside of North Korea. She was detained at Onsong County MPS Detention Centre where she was tortured for more than 12 hours each day for 6 months. Any slight noise or movement resulted in beatings. During her detention, she was kept malnourished and was given no clothes, so she wore what she had been arrested in until they became rags. After her interrogation by state security officers, she was eventually charged with having committed “crimes of international communication” and was sentenced to 51 months in the Chongori Re-education Camp.

To better understand and situate the experiences of Ms. Kim and others like her, we used digital modelling, survivor testimony, memory-based diagrams, and satellite imagery to model the internal architecture of Onsong County MPS Detention Centre.

The North Korean Prison Database links detainees, human rights violations, and perpetrators to Onsong County MPS Detention Centre. A navigable version of the digital model can be accessed here.

Please see the BBC interview introducing the Onsong 3D model below.

The full version of the BBC article can be found here.