Two American Journalists Could Face 'Horror Upon Horror' in North Korean Prison Camps

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 10, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a fact, North Korean forced labor camps are hell, maybe even worse than hell. And that is what two American women journalist face right now.

They've been sentenced to 12 years in a North Korean hard labor camp for what the communist nation calls an illegal border crossing and a grave crime against North Korea.

In the documentary film "KimJongilia, the Flower of Kim Jong-il," survivors of North Korean prison camps talk about the horror they went through.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so they laid me to one side, waiting for me to die.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was hung upside down and beaten for 14 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never knew when we would get beaten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never imagined anyone could sell and buy people.


VAN SUSTEREN: N.C. Heiken joins us live, the director of "KimJongilia, the Flower of Kim Jong-il." N.C., thank you for joining us.

And I know you have done this documentary. How bad is it in those camps? What have you learned?

N.C. HEIKEN: I have learned horror upon horror. It is worse than you can imagine. Everything is worse than you can imagine.

People are controlled by starvation. They are made to work impossible tasks, sometimes stupid tasks for nothing, but usually just plain old hard labor. The people they want to kill -- they kill people by labor, basically. They do not just kill them. They kill them by making them work.

They will send them down to the mines. They make children work by -- Cantor one (ph), who was just in that clip. He was made to transport these huge logs up and down mountains when he was nine-years-old.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about food? How about food? What is the food like?

HEIKEN: Food rations are tiny. There is like a handful of corn meal for a meal. And the minute you do something wrong, that handful is reduced to half that amount, and if you do something else wrong, a quarter of that amount.

And if you're caught stealing food, which everybody tries to do because they are starting, you're executed.

VAN SUSTEREN: I have heard stories about people trying to catch rats and eat them, insects. Did your film bear out any of that?

HEIKEN: Absolutely. Again, Cantor one (ph), this is the man in the red sweater you have been showing in the clip, talks about the first time he ate a mouse, that he understood he had to do that to survive.

And he relates a story where there was a guy actually raising mice in his hut so that he could eat them. But it became this thing for all the kids to just try -- they would try and catch snakes or frogs or mice or bugs, anything, anything at all for protein.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who is Mrs. Kim? I know that in your work, you have come across a woman named Mrs. Kim.

HEIKEN: Right. She is a woman of about -- I would say she is in her early 70's by now. And she was a dancer in the early 60s. And this is her you're seeing her on the screen now. She did not want her face to be shown.

She was friends with a woman who became Kim Jong-il's lover. And because she knew about -- they thought she knew about this affair, she may not have, but they thought she did, she was arrested and interrogated for two months until she sort of understood what she was being accused of. And then she was taken to a camp. Her husband was taken away to another camp. She never saw him again. Her parents were taken with her. Her four children were taken with her. And her parents died in the camp.

Her first, oldest son died walking home from the camp school. He drowned in a river. Her daughters she gave up for adoption because she would have been tainted by having been in the camp, therefore incapable of having a normal life in North Korea. Another son tried to escape and was shot. And a third son tried to escape and was beaten so badly that he is now in a sort of permanent coma, although he is alive. And one of the things that this shows is that if one person in a family is accused of something, three generations of the family are taken to the camp, and, allegedly, to purge the entire family of their wrongdoing.

VAN SUSTEREN: N.C. thank you. Chilling stories. Thank you, N.C.

HEIKEN: Thank you for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us live is Reverend Franklin Graham. You may remember, we traveled to North Korea with Reverend Graham him in 2008.

Reverend, you have been doing a tremendous amount of humanitarian work in North Korea, and in the know your family has been connected to North Korea for a number of years. Your mother went to high school there.

Do you have any suggestion for the family of these two young women journalists?

REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Well, no. It's a sad situation, and I feel sorry for these two ladies. And, of course, I would hope everybody that is watching would pray, pray for these young ladies, that this thing can be resolved.

But, Greta, the sad sideline to all of this is it has got us distracted. This is most dangerous real-estate in the world. And we are talking about these two young ladies when we should be talking about the bigger issue right now, and that is trying to get the North Koreans back to the peace process, back to the six-party talks.

And I know the six party talks have broke down. And maybe the U.S. needs to talk directly to the North Koreans. I believe if we talk at a high level, we will be able to not only get them back to the table, but we would be able to get these girls home.

These young ladies, no question, have suffered. They are going to suffer more. I don't know what they were doing on the border. Of course, Greta, you and I, we went in with visas, and we were allowed to go in. We have been in there a number of times.

But to go up on the border and to do something clandestine, I don't know. I do not know if they were on the Chinese side or if they actually crossed into North Korea.

There is one person how knows, and I think his name is Mitch Kas. He was the videographer that escaped. And he is back in San Francisco.

So there is stuff to store we do not know. But we do need to pray for them. And I hope they get out of there soon. And I believe this may happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your organization, Samaritan's Purse, has given millions of dollars to them and done an awful lot in North Korea. Are you still able to have access to do your tremendous humanitarian work there, or have things changed in the last couple of months for you?

GRAHAM: Well, no. We still have the ability to do some work. We have -- hopefully, one of our delegations will be going later this summer.

The political instability right now does affect our humanitarian work. And that is why it is important that we engage with the North Koreans so that our humanitarian work can go forward.

There are a lot of people that are suffering. And of course, I'm a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Greta. I want people that we help to know that god loves them and cares for them, and that Jesus Christ died for their sins and rose from the grave. I want them to know that he can make a difference in their life.

But these people are suffering. They do need help. They need a lot of help.

And, Greta, the situation since the Obama administration has come into power has deteriorated. And I am not blaming the president, so I hope someone watching does not think I am blaming the president, but the fact is it has deteriorated since his coming into office.

And I hope that the president -- and we need to pray for him, that god would give him wisdom -- I would hope that he would put someone like Governor Richardson or somebody like that who understands Korea and North Korea and have them focus on that as a special envoy. We need that type of person right now to focus on it.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, I just want to tip off the viewers. They can go to Samaritan's Purse, to your Web site. And they can see about North Korea. They can see pictures as well as donate because they need lots of help, humanitarian.

Reverend, always nice to see you. and I would like to see you in person soon, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you. God bless.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.

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