(CNN) -- North Korea is showing no signs of scaling back its fearsome labor camp system, with torture, starvation, rape and death a fact of life for tens of thousand of inmates, according to human rights group Amnesty International.
The rights group released satellite images, purportedly showing evidence of expansion, including the construction of new housing blocks and production facilities, at two of the isolated regime's largest camps or "kwanliso" --15 and 16 -- used to hold political prisoners.
"The gruesome reality of North Korea's continued investment in this vast network of repression has been exposed," said Rajiv Narayan, Amnesty International's East Asia Researcher.
"We urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those prisoners of conscience held in political prison camps and close the camps immediately."
Before I continue let me be clear on one point: I am in no way saying that North Korea is or is not doing certain things. I cannot know this as I have not been there myself to witness the state of the nation and its people. This post is about public perception and how it is influenced to support or reject one or more actions.
One thing that America has gotten really good at is getting its people to believe that military action against other countries is good and just and somehow protecting Americans. This may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all. Many citizens are opposed to military action against other countries done under the guise of patriotism, but not enough to make a real difference.
In reality what happens in most governments and nations across the world is that most people are pretty neutral about most issues - they do not care enough to petition their cause in any way. Then you will have the 2 minority groups: one is against an issue and the other is all for it. This is where the real decision normally comes from: which minority group makes their voices heard the best.
Now where public perception comes in is when the powers that be would like to keep the population as complacent as possible while they carry out their morally questionable actions - they do this by making what they are doing seem to be good for the country and for each citizen personally. These attempts to influence the population will obviously create their own minority groups of supporters and opposition. What is most often the case is that the supporters have far more money to spend than the opposition has and so the morally questionable acts continue with only a few rallies and marches taking place in an attempt from the opposition to get their voices heard. Obviously the problem comes in when the majority of the population just doesn't care enough to do anything, one way or the other, allowing the minority groups to continue their shouting matches.
The truth is that North Korea is shrouded in mystery. The truth is that the motives of the world leaders are shrouded in mystery. The truth is that it is very rare for someone in a position of power to act in the best interests of the many. The truth is that we cannot trust the correctness of objectivity of news articles. The truth is that we cannot trust the motives of advertisements. The truth is that most people have more interest in profiting from a situation than they do from helping other people and improving life on Earth. The truth is that the people who run the world are mostly very charming liars who are good at getting what they want and only want what benefits them. The truth is that we have to question everything in this world. The truth is that the best way to find the truth is to investigate the matter yourself, because there is no easy way to tell when someone else is lying.