The (mal)treatment of North Korean soldiers at the hands of their superiors is a well-documented fact. Not only are they forced to train for battle in harsh conditions, but are also used for hard labor in construction programs.
For instance, Pyongyang state television recently aired images of North Korean soldiers forming a “human bridge” while working on an underwater project.
UPI reports the troops were shown supporting wooden planks on their shoulders, submerged in a river, without wearing any safety gear as more soldiers ran across the bridge carrying heavy construction material like bricks and mortar overhead.
“At one point in the segment, a North Korean female soldier is shown rolling a boulder about 20 inches wide with her bare hands, doing work without a helmet, gloves or any other safety gear,” UPI reported.
"If the supreme commander instructs the Korean People's Army to hold back the sea they will hold back the sea. If they are ordered to move mountains, they will move mountains," Pyongyang stated in the video.
This video is the second example of harsh treatment of North Korean soldiers in nearly two weeks. Earlier in December, it was reported North Korea forced its young soldiers to repair a railway track in subzero degree weather with their “bare hands” without providing proper equipment.