Criticism of the regime or the leadership in North Korea, if reported, is enough to make you and your family ‘disappear’ from society and end up in a political prison camp. It goes without saying that there is no free media inside the country. The only opinion allowed to be voiced inside the country is the regime’s.
It is illegal for the North Korean people to leave their country without the regime’s permission, and the regime attempts to restrict the people’s movement even inside their own country. If you wish to travel to another part of the country, you are supposed to have a specific purpose and obtain permission from your work unit. If you do not live in Pyongyang, the showcase capital where most resources are concentrated, you will likely be denied access. The regime has also forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of North Koreans to less favorable parts of the country as a form of punishment and political persecution.
The story of Shin Dong-hyuk (Danny). He was born in Camp 14. He betrayed his mother and brother because they were planning to escape. He reported them to the guards. He was part of a breeding program in the camp and he was raised by the guards of the camp to snitch on his parents. So Shin gave his mother and brother up for more food! He watched their public execution and felt no guilt because he had been trained to do this. This is a horrifying story of what continues in North Korea.
Kim Jong-Un is about the same age as Shin. Shin is the only one who has escaped Camp 14 and lived to tell about it.
Author of “Escape from Camp 14” Blaine Harden speaks about Shin Dong-hyuk’s life and his escape from a political prison camp in North Korea, where he had lived for the first 23 years of his life.
Freedom can be a sticky notion, let alone a word. We all want it for ourselves and others we love, in particular. We, as Americans, purport to want it for all the world, (although our reasons are not always altruistic, unfortunately.) What exactly do I mean by the word, though? It can be a very confusing idea if you stand freedom off by itself, and don’t blend it liberally with self-control, and responsibility. I remember hearing for the first time when I was in high school the axiom: “The right (freedom) of a person to swing his/her arm ends where another person’s nose begins.” So, am I really free?
I answer to myself, “Of course I am, because I have no desire to swing my arm into another person’s nose!” But what about someone else? If they do have such a desire, then are they more free than I? The…
Eggplant is in season. As a family that eats locally and seasonally that means that we must embrace eggplant. And while I really enjoy this dense meaty vegetable, I have a very hard time selling it at my dinner table. This past week, my curry with eggplant had the guys leaving skid marks in the driveway on their way to In and Out Burger.
The people of North Korea are part of the people on the Korean Peninsula, but they do not have a country of their own. Kim Jong-Un has his country, but all the other people have no rights or freedoms: it is not THEIR country. There is no way to fight his regime from the inside, as he rules with fear and intimidation. He had his own uncle fed to ravenous dogs! It’s the medieval days all over again.
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” No, the only way anyone will see freedom there is by escaping their prison. I think Liberty in North Korea has the right idea. Bypass all the political BS and do what you can to help one person at a time.