Cartoon violence illustrating the brutal methods of North Korea upon prisoners is no laughing matter
Cartoon violence illustrating the brutal methods of North Korea upon prisoners is no laughing matter UN

A hellish vision of life in a North Korean prison has been illustrated in cartoons based on a survivor's account of his time locked up by the Stalinist regime.

The images of torture and confinement, based on the account of one man who suffered two years of sub-human treatment, formed part of a UN-backed report earlier this year.

The UN Security Council met on Monday (22 December) to discuss the findings of the inquiry and North Korea's human rights record for the first time.

North Korea has persistently rejected allegations it sanctions torture and has refused to recognise or attend the meeting.

Kim Kwang-il:
Kim Kwang-il: "Solitary confinement punishment. Capturing mice from inside the cell." UN

But the images, based upon testimony by Kim Kwang-il, tell a story of violence meted out systemically and sadistically.

Kim Kwang-il describes:
Kim Kwang-il describes: "Pump torture. After sitting, you stand about a hundred times." UN

Kim recounted his experiences to an illustrator, who turned them into cartoons.

Kim Kwang-il described 'pigeon torutre' during which prisoners are beaten until they vomit blood

Kim fled his home country in 2009 by defecting to South Korea - the mortal enemy of the regime north of the 38th parallel.

Kim Kwang-il:
Kim Kwang-il: "Out of starvation and hunger, find snakes and rats and you eat them" UN

Kim has said the brutal scenes depicted by the drawings are actually a watered-down version of reality. "We actually got worse treatment than the pictures that are shown in the book," he said.

Prisoners subjected to stress positions dubbed "Scale, airplane, motorcycle" UN

Among the tortures he describes inflicted upon prisoners by guards are stress positions, which inmates are required to hold for hours on end.

Kim Kwang-il recounts abuse in a
Kim Kwang-il recounts abuse in a "detention centre" UN

The cartoons show starving inmates reduced to trapping creatures such as snakes and mice to get nourishment. Many prisoners are reported to have died during their confinement.

Kim Kwang-il:
Kim Kwang-il: "The mice eat the eyes, nose, ears, and toes of the corpses." UN

The cartoons, based upon Kim's story, form part of a large document containing testimony from 240 other victims and 80 witnesses.

Kim Kwang-il:
Kim Kwang-il: "The corpses are taken to the crematorium" UN

North Korea has been accused by the United Nations of running a system of "murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."