Report: 150,000 languish in NKorean prison camps

MATTHEW PENNINGTON Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. human rights envoy for North Korea says conditions in communist country's "brutal" prison camps are worse than in the Soviet Union's gulag during the Cold War.

Robert King made his comments at a conference Tuesday examining the North's network of prison labor camps and penitentiaries that a new report estimates hold more than 150,000 inmates.

King said the U.S. has made it clear to Pyongyang that it needs not only to address international concerns over its weapons' programs but to improve its human rights record if it wants to participate fully in the international community.