tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 12, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
keeping government accountable. tonight we're going to show you you a place it's so horrific, it's hard to believe it exists. it's a concentration camp. this concentration camp is in north korea a country that is right now publicly celebrating the launch of a missile, a missile that has much of the media talking. >> after four successful failures north korea shocked the world with this launch. nuclear warheads to the west coast of the united states. >> these images showed people celebrating in north korea. tonight there are signs that the north korea people not totally in control of the device. >> but tonight on north korean
tv, the anchor was excited. pyongyang spent more than a million dollars this year alone. while much of the world is talking about missiles, there is a crime against humanity occurring in that country, a crime that receives very little attention. as i said, some 150,000 people are believed to be doing hard labor, on the brink of starvation. tp doesn't just house those accused of political harm. it houses their entire families, grandparents, parents, children. it's a system called three generations of punishment. imagine if you were sent to a concentration camp but to truly punish you they would also send your parents and your children. three generations of your family
simply disappeared. the most nor tore yous is called camp 14. we know about it because of a man i originally spoke with for cbs's "60 minutes." he's believed to be the only person born and raised in the camps who has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. >> did anybody ever explain to you why you were in a camp? >> translator: no, never. because i was born there, i just thought those people who carried guns were born to carry guns and prisoners like me were born as prisoners. >> did you know america existed? >> translator: not at all. >> did you know that the world was round? >> translator: i had no idea if it was round or square. >> camp 14 was all that he said he knew for the first 23 years of his life. these satellite images are the only glimpse outsiders have ever gotten of the place. 15 thourk people are believed to
be imprisoned here, forced to live and work in this bleak collection of houses, factories, fields, and mines surrounded by an electrified fence. >> growing up, did you ever think about escaping? >> translator: that never crossed my mind. >> it never crossed your mind? >> translator: no, never. what i thought was the society outside the camp would be similar to that inside the camp. >> you thought everybody lived in a prison camp like this? >> translator: yes. >> shin told us this was the house where he was born. his mother and father were prisoners whose marriage, if you could call it that, was arranged by the guards as a reward for hard work. >> did they live together? did they see each other every day? >> translator: no. you can't live together. only when they worked hard could they be together. >> did they love each other? >> translator: i don't know. in my eyes, we were not a family. we were just prisoners. >> how do you mean? >> translator: you wear what you're given, you eat what
you're given, and you only do what you're told to do. so there's nothing that the parent can do for you and there's nothing that the children can do for their parents. >> this may be a very dumb question, but did you even know what love was when you were for the first 23 years of your life? >> translator: i still don't know what that means. >> love may have been absent but fear was not. in this building, a school of sorts, shin says he watched his teacher beat a little girl to death for hoarding a few kernels of corn, a violation of rules which he and other students were required to learn by heart. >> translator: if you escape or try to escape, you would be shot. even if you did not report someone trying to escape, you would be shot. >> the shootings took place in this field, he says. the other prisoners were required to watch. as frightening as the executions
were, shin considered them a break from the moth not me of constant hunger. they were fed thin cornmeal and cabbage day in and day out. they were so hungry they ate rats and insects to survive. >> so for 23 years, you were always hungry? >> translator: yes, of course. we were always hungry. and the guards always told us, through hunger you will repent. >> what shin and his family were repenting for probably dates back to the korean war when two of his uncles reportedly defected to the south. he believes that's why his father and grandfather were sent to camp 14 and he was supposed to live there until he died. kim il-song instituted this back until the 1950s. >> the idea is to eliminate this
lineage, that on the theory if the grandfather was a counter revolutionary, the father and grand sons would be opposed to the regime as well. >> a human rights investigator has interviews six political camps operating in north korea today. >> the largest number of people in the prison camps are those who are the children or grandchildren of people considered to be wrong doers or wrong thinkers. >> i've never heard of anything like that. >> it's unique in the 20th or 21st centu century. stal stalin didn't do it. it's only korea that had this practice. >> north korea denies it has any political prisons but refuses to allow outside observers to look
at camp 14. >> there's no way to verify shin's story. do you believe his story? >> oh, sure. his story is consistent with the testimony of other prisoners in every respect. >> there's also physical evidence he carries around with him to this day. the tip of his finger is missing. he says it was chopped off as punishment when he accidently broke a machine in a prison factory. he also has serious scars on his back, stomach, and ankles which he was willing to show us but embarrassed to show on camera. he says he received those wounds here in an underground torture center. he was tortured because his mother and older brother were accused of trying to escape. he was just 13 years old at the time. >> did they think that you were involved in the escape? >> translator: i'm sure they did. >> how did they torture you? >> translator: they hung me by the ankles and they tortured me
with fire. and from the scars that i have, the wounds on my body, i think they couldn't have done more to me. >> shin says he tried to convince his interrogators he wasn't part of the escape plot. he didn't know if they believed him until one day when they took him to that field used for executions. >> translator: when i went to the public execution site, i thought that i might be killed. i was brought to the very front. that's where i saw my mother and my brother being dragged out. and that's when i knew that it wasn't me. >> how did they kill your mother? >> translator: they hung her. and they shot my brother. >> he speaks of it still without visible emotion and admits he felt no sadness watching his mother and brother die. he thought they got what they deserved. they had, after all, broken the
prison rules. >> he believed the rules of the camp like gospel. >> a veteran foreign correspondent first reported his story in "the washington post" and later wrote a book about his life. >> he had no compass by which to judge his behavior. >> he had a compass but the compass was the rules of the camp. the only compass he had. and it was only when he was 23 when he met somebody from the outside that that started to change. >> when he met park? >> when he met park. >> park was a new prison shin says he met while working at camp 14's textile factory. unlike shin, park had seen the outside world. he lived in pyongyang and traveled in china and he began to tell shin what life was like on the other side of the fence. >> translator: i paid most attention to what kind of food he ate outside the camp. >> what kind of food had he eaten? >> translator: a lot of different things. chicken, barbecue pig. the most important thing was the thought that even a prisoner
like me could eat chicken and pork if i were able to escape the bashed wires. >> i've heard people define freedom in many ways. i've never heard it defined as broiled chicken. >> translator: i still think of freedom in that way. >> really? that's what freedom means to you. >> translator: people can eat what they want. >> you were ready to die just to get a good meal? >> translator: yes. >> he got his chance in january 2005 when he says he and park were gathering firewood in this remote area near the electrified fence. as the sun began to set, they decided to make a run for it. >> and as they ran towards the fence, shin fell on his face, park got to the fence first and thrust his body between the first and second strand and pulled down that bottom wire and was immediately electrocuted. >> how did you get past him? >> translator: i just crawled over his back. >> so you literally climbed over him?
>> translator: yeah. >> he was a fugitive now in rural north korea on the run in one of the poorest, most repressive countries in the world. but that's not how it seemed to him. what did the outside world seem like? >> translator: it was like heaven. people were laughing and talking as they wanted. they were wearing what they wanted it. it was very shocking. >> how did you manage to get out of north korea? >> translator: i was just trying to get away from the camp and i ended up going north and on the northern side people talked a lot about china. >> did you know where china was? >> translator: no, not at all. it just happened that the way i was going was toward the border. >> with amazing luck and cunning shin managed to steal and bribe his way across the border and quietly work his way through china where he would have been sent back if he was caught. in shanghai he snuck into the south korean consulate and was granted asylum. in 2006 he arrived in south
korea without a friend in the world. he was so overwhelmed by culture shock and posttraumatic stress he had to be hospitalized. more than seven years later, it's stunning to see how far he's come. he's 30 now and old demons from camp 14 are never far behind. shin now admits there was something he was hiding. two years ago he finally confessed to the author blaine harden. >> when he first told me about the excuse of his mother and brother, he didn't say he turned them in. >> you reported your mother and your brother? >> translator: yes. >> what did you hope to get out of reporting your mother and your brother? >> translator: being full for the first time. >> more food? >> translator: yes. but the biggest reason was, i was supposed to report it. >> why was shin tortured after
ratting out his mother and brother? >> the guard who he ratted out to did not tell his superiors that he got the information from shin. >> so the guard basically was trying to claim credit? >> yes. >> it was only after seeing what family life was like outside camp 14 that shin says he started to feel guilt about what he had done to his own mother and brother. >> translator: my mother and brother, if i could meet them through a time machine, i would like to go back and apologize by telling the story, i think i can compensate, kind of repent for what i did. >> repet tans has taken shin all over the world. he speaks at human rights con venges and is telling us in part because he's frustrated how much attention they pay to kim
jong-un and his wife. they started an internet talk show designed to tell the world what is really going on in the north. as for that taste of freedom he risked his life for, he can eat all of the broiled check enhe wants now but admits it hasn't given him the satisfaction he had hoped for. >> translator: when i eat something good, when i laugh with my friends or i make some money, i'm excited. but that's only momentary and right afterwards i worry again. >> you worry about what now? >> translator: what i worry about now is all of those people in the children camp camps. children are still being born there and somebody is probably being executed. >> do you think about that a lot? >> translator: yeah. >> while the world focuses on the north korean launch, we think about all of those people
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but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. welcome back. we're learning more about the shooting rampage at a shopping mall outside portland, oregon. before we bring you the latest on the killer and the crime, i want to take a moment and recognize the two people who lost their lives. cindy ann yuille and steven matthew forsyth. a third victim, 15-year-old kristina shevchenko is recovering. she may need more surgeries to
heal. police say he was acting alone and took his own life as police arrived on the scene. >> during this attack, he was armed with an ar-15 semiautomatic rifle. the rifle was stolen yesterday from a person known to the suspect. at the time of the attack, he was wearing a load bearing vest, not a bulletproof vest as earlier reported by some outlets. he was also wearing a hockey-style face mask and we have not yet been able to establish how many shots were fired during the attack, although we believe he was carrying several fully loaded magazines. >> a friend of the can killer tells cnn he can't believe he did this. a friend of his mother, meantime, gave the following letter to a local tv station. it reads, quote, tami roberts wishes to express her shock and grief at the events at clackamas town center. she has no explanation for her son's behavior and requests that
her privacy be respected. more now for a search for answers. >> reporter: not willing to talk about what might have led roberts to open fire on holiday shoppers. >> yeah. i've seen him there. >> reporter: neighbors say the 22-year-old moved in about six months ago renting the basement of this portland house. abby bates last saw him yesterday when he left at 1:30 in the afternoon. >> he just came out and he didn't wave or anything. came out with a guitar case in the car. >> reporter: two hours later, the 911 calls were coming in from the clackamas town center. roberts, wearing a hockey mask and firing a stolen ar-15 semiautomatic rifle was making his way through the mall.
>> all i heard is, "i am the shooter" and then shots rang out. i started telling anyone and everyone i saw, there's a shooting going on. don't go in there. >> reporter: police say the only reason he didn't kill more people, his rifle jammed. he had several fully loaded magazines. police are still trying to piece together what caused this man to fire into crowds of people before killing himself. >> at this time, we do not understand the motive of this attack except to say that there's no apparent relationship between the suspect and his victims. >> my son did grow up with jake and i can tell you he was a very good boy and it's very shocking. >> reporter: family friends say there was no warning signs. there was this, perhaps, a gun fascination on his facebook page, a man firing a handgun. had he been a popular boy at his high school and loved by his mother who read this statement.
>> she is very sad and wants everyone to know that she's so sorry what jake did. it's so out of his character. >> reporte . >> when you customer the when that he was carrying, it's understandable he didn't kill more people. the gun jammed but if how was h able to kill himself. >> reporter: the gun did jam and jammed early on in the food court. the suspect, then, started to run. it was during that process that police say for some reason the gun unjammed and so that's when the is suspect took his own life after he had run away from the crowd in the food court. but that gun jamming, anderson, police say they just call that a miracle. >> and we've been hearing a lot of stories of people who helped other people in the midst of all this incredibly frightening situation. >> reporter: absolutely. the police say what really shows up here for them isn't the
damage that this suspect did. they helped each other. there was a doctor in that crowd. there were nurses. they immediately started treating people. >> yes, one of the witnesses went towards a woman who was ultimately killed and a nurse showed up. appreciate your reporting on that. have scientists discovered how being gay is passed to their children? we'll talk to dr. drew pinsky about that. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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former u.s. marine jailed in mexico has been there since august after a surfing vacation took a terrifying turn. tonight his family is pleading for help. ahead on "360." only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
for a long time scientists have wondered if being gay is genetic. so far no one has identified a gay gene. but now they have discovered how it may be passed from parent to child called epi again net particulars. the new study claims that epi marks may be passed down between generations. it's complicated and it's a controversial theory that hasn't been tested on people. researchers used a mathematical model and it certainly raises a lot of questions. dr. drew joins me now. epi genetics, epi marks, what are they? >> it's really where the rubber hits the road these days. everyone is aware that dna is where the genetic code is laid down. but how the code is transcribed is really what it is about.
consider a sentence. if you have a sentence and you just pick up in the middle of that sentence randomly and try to understand that sentence or try to understand the meaning of that sentence can be severely altered. the same is true of the genetic code. where and how the code is transcribed is very much involved in how the codes are expressed in the cells. in this particular case, what they are seeing is that there appears to be something that affects -- creates a resistance the effects of testosterone in some males can pass from the mother to the boy and similarly from dads to daughters. >> so they are saying it's not father to son but father to daughter, mother to son? >> exactly. what they are saying is that in females, there's a lot of -- in the uterus when we're developing there's a lot of levels that we're exposed to and they are saying that there has to be an epi that limits the testosterone
on a female that can be, in some cases, passed from the female, from mom to son. and similarly, in the dads, there has to be a genetic mechanism that allows the testosterone to be passed to the girl as well. what they are saying is perhaps mom's factors doesn't allow a son to masculinize and that somehow has to do with someone's sexual orientation. for me, that's the greatest sort of assumption and stretch in this entire theory. >> and at this point, it is a theory. this is based on matt particulars more than a science, right? >> that's exactly right. science is very fearful in going forward in studying because of the politicization. when you study any human
behavior, there's a component of genetic and environmental. and it's incumbent upon science to nail what those mechanisms are. >> one of the questions about the genetic thing is if it was purely genetics, then some scientists would say it would die out over time because gay people, i guess, in large numbers have not been propriating and if there is a gay gene, passing it down. but if it is these epi marks, that's how they pass it from generation to generation. >> yes. that's why these biological element have not died out in the population over millions of years. in fact, they have stayed quite steady. if they were purely genetic, the genes don't get passed along but the epi genetics can get passed along. >> thanks very much. >> thanks, anderson. well, it started out as a
relaxing trip to ride the waves in costa rica but ended with a 27-year-old former marine in a u.s. prison. he's been there since august. there's a lot of questions about why he was even arrested. my interview with his parents ahead. first, isha? john boehner is telling lawmakers not to make christmas plans. the warning comes after president obama talked about boehner on the phone last night. sources say it was a tense conversation. experts warn of a new recession if a deal can't be reached in 20 days. new jersey governor chris christie says it's ridiculous to say that he couldn't be president because of his weight. the republican governor is rumored to be considering a bid for the white house in 2016. and pope benedict xvi blessed his followers in his first tweet today.
he now has one million followers on this twitter page alone and many more account in several other languages. some saying that he's the coolest pope in history. >> isha, thank you. a former u.s. marine served iraq and afghanistan and now his parents fear that he may die in a mexican prison. they are pleading for his safe return after what was a surfing trip. johnny hammar's story just ahead. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
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getting the kind of traction that his family hopes will bring him home. senator bill nelson brought his story to the floor yesterday. >> bring this marine home, mexican government. and now that you have a new president just installed in mexico, the relations with the united states are especially important to treat the united states' citizens who are peaceful in their intent, innocent in their observation of the mexican laws, where no harm has been done, send that u.s. marine back to america and back to his family in miami. >> senator nelson spoke for nearly six minutes vowing to keep pressing for hammar's release. how did he end up in prison to begin with? the deeper we dig the story gets stranger and stranger. johnny hammar has suffered with
posttraumatic stress disorder. he finds peace riding waves. after completing a ptsd treatment program last summer, he set off to go on a surfing trip to coast reek ka and that's when his life took a terrifying turn. >> reporter: johnny hammar was a marine serving in afghanistan and iraq. he decided to drive with a fellow marine in a winnebago all the way through mexico to costa rica to surf. >> he had been there before and served. they took every single decent board that he had. >> >> reporter: he knew it was mexico but he wasn't planning on staying in mexico? >> no. the only reason they were going to stop was to get more gas. >> reporter: his parents were concerned when he said he wanted to bring antique shotgun that his great grandfather once
owned. he got the proper forms from u.s. border agents to declare it. but once he did declare it, the nightmare began. >> how far was he from the united states of america when he was arrested. >> he was on the border. he was crossing the border. >> reporter: so he was a few feet away from america? >> or less. >> reporter: his friend was released about johnny was brought to this jail charged with violating the instruct gun laws. the jail is controlled by drug cartel members. a few nights after he was imprisoned, his parents got a call from someone threatening to kill their son unless someone paid them money. >> so then he said, i have your son and he said i'm going to f him up and he said and i already have. and for some stupid reason my response was oh, no, i'm going to call the consulate and he put jonny on the phone and i
couldn't believe it. and then i realized, i was like, oh, my god. and i really thought he wasn't in the prison. i thought someone's taken him out of the prison. because i just couldn't conceive of this going on in a government facility. >> reporter: what did jonny tell you? >> he said, mom, you need to do whatever they say. and he said, they are really serious. >> they never heard from the callers again although the u.s. consulate has heard from this from the beginning, they kept the story out of the press scared that attention could be bad for their son but increasingly desperate, they are speaking out now. >> the longer we go on with him in there, the greater chance that he's not going to get out alive. >> reporter: the congresswoman heads up the house committee on foreign affairs. the family has just informed her about this. >> this is outrageous and i'm asking for the state department
to be more proactive. i have communicated with them. i've communicated with our u.s. ambassador in mexico. this week i meet with the mexican ambassador to the united states. and enough is enough. >> reporter: their son had looked forward to a surfing vacation. now he's past the four-month mark in a mexican prison. he talked to his parents on the phone friday. >> i said, jonny, we're going to get you out. and he said, mom, you've been telling me that since august. >> gary, you went to the u.s. consulate in mexico not far from the prison where jonny hammar is being held. what are officials saying about the situation? >> reporter: well, first, we should point out, jonny's parents don't think the consulate is doing a particularly good job. they did get him out of the general inmate population which is considered safer but they think the consulate has been surprisingly indifferent. the rio grand is behind me. two miles is the consulate.
right now it's not particularly safe for us to do live reporting in mexico but a couple hours we were there in daylight. it's a heavily fortified building. there are large walls and gates. i talked to the boss there, the consulate general and the general told me when i asked him questions about what the parents were saying, that he was unable to get clearance from washington to talk to us. so we needed to talk to the state department from washington to find out what the consulate was doing. they gave us this statement. the consulate is following mr. hammar's case closely as it proceeds through the mexican judicial system and we are in constant contact with the family and we will continue to monitor his safety throughout the detention. they have seen him, anderson, in prison three times but after four month jonny hammar wasn't there. he presented the gun at the border checkpoint right behind me and now he's in jail for four months. >> gary tuchman, thank you.
his parents have are been afraid to go public with their son's story. they are speaking out with you are you are general see. i spoke to olivia and jon hammar earlier. >> how are you holding up? >> just trying to take it one day at a time and praying that this exposure helps get him home. >> and jon, you actually went down to visit your son. what are the conditions like that -- where he's held? >> they are horrible. third-world facilities. and it's not, you know, a secure facility either. and, you know, the road out there from town is -- you know, has problems daily. i was not authorized to go out there by the state department. i had to go on my own.
>> i read you or olivia say that you believe he's actually being chained to a bed at times? >> yes. you know, it's not a very secure situation that he's in because the state department got him isolated from the main facilities that is run by the cartel but the area that he's in isn't really a facility for housing a prisoner. it's a -- you know, a makeshift college storage area next to guard offices. and so, you know, i suspect to give them some relief every now and then the guards will chain him to the bed because they feel like there's this guy over here and he could run away and we'll get in trouble. and then the consulate will go out there and tell them, no, you can't do that, every month or so. but it's a back and forth contest. >> you said the cartel is running the prison.
you mean a drug cartel is running the prison that your son is in? >> the main part of the prison, 90% of the prison where the actual prisoners are, the facilities, you know, is -- once you get in those doors, the cartel controls it. or seems to because we get calls -- you know, from inside the prison saying, you know, this is not about the police. this is about us and this is our house and if you don't do -- send money, we're going to kill your son. here's your son on the phone. >> so you're saying people from the prison are actually calling you extorting money, trying to extort money from you? >> in august that's how this started. that was our first phone call on this. >> how much money did they want? >> they asked for $1800. we said, we'll send it, tell us how. and they said, we'll call you
back with a western union account number. and so when they hung up, we called the state department. >> and at some point the calls stopped. but it took us about three days for the consulate to be able to get back out there and confirm that he had been isolated. >> and olivia, you say that the mexican government sent a particular letter to the judge and the prosecutor. what was the letter and did it have any impact? >> the letter essentially -- because the crime that he's charged with is possession of a weapon restricted for military use. so the marine de mexico which is an arm of the military in mexico sent a letter to the judge and the prosecutor saying that this particular weapon is not on their, quote, forbidden list. and they have just declined to, you know, give that any weight. >> jon, what are you hoping mexican officials will do? what do you want them to do?
>> i'm appealing to the mexican government to put pressure through the trial court to come to some reasonable conclusion that we can get our son home and alive after, you know, he's been returned from war alive, this would be a tragedy that i don't know how we would stand losing him this way. >> well, jorn and olivia, i'm so sorry you're going through this. we'll continue to follow it. thank you so much. >> thank you. in syria, u.s. officials say the government has made another bold move firing scud missiles at the opposition. the latest developments ahead. capella university understands businesses are trying to come
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anderson's back in a moment. first, a 360 news bulletin. syrian government troops have fired at least four scud missiles presumably at opposition fighters. the official says satellites picked up the infrared signature of the missiles when they were launched from the damascus area into northern syria. john mcafee is back in miami tonight. a post on his blog says he's in a south beach hotel after weeks on the run. he fled belize where authorities want to question him about his neighbor's death. he ended up in immigration detention in guatemala. his lawyer say that police let him return to the u.s. mcafee says he has nothing to do with the death. and kim maria of birmingham, alabama turned 12 today on
12/12/12 at 12:12 p.m. >> what are you going to do? >> i'm going to yell out holla as loud as i can. >> you're allowed. it's your birthday. >> are you going to be in class when you yell out holla? >> yes. >> and in tonight's connection, it used to be when it came to bike and motorcycle helmets, the only smart part was the head underneath it. not anymore. at indygog odot come, meet the crash sensor. get in a serious wreck and the phone notifies emergency contacts and displays vital medication. anderson is back with the "ridiculist" after this.
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pole back into the north pole this christmas. ho, ho, ho. it's a two-for-one lap dance. don't get me wrong, this is for a great cause, collecting toys for underprivileged kids. although the organizer says the strip club didn't run the idea by him. >> i've heard nothing about it. it's certainly not something we have been made aware of or would have endorsed. as long as it's done in a legal manner and people are bringing us new, unwrapped toys, we don't get into how they were gathered or what the process was. >> we did a little checking. believe it or not, the concept of toys for tatas not confined to the greater fayette area. there's one in scottsdale, arizona, where they are apparently giving away best augmentation because there's nothing like surgery to get you in the festive holiday move and at rick's cab