"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

20 January 2011

From the Korea Times.... Not for the kiddies...

Robert Park speaks out on North Korea

Robert Park
By Kim Young-jin

Robert Park, the American missionary detained by North Korea last year for crossing its border, is speaking out against human rights abuses in the isolated state despite deep emotional wounds that remain as reminders of his time there.

Little had been heard from Park, 29, who was released last February after 43 days in incarceration for crossing the North Korea-China border. In a recent interview in Seoul with the Monthly Chosun, he offered a scathing review of the regime.

“More than 3 million people have died in North Korea (due to the regime),” he said. “Kim Jong-il has not shared a fortune in aid with the people, using it instead on weapons development.”

Park told the publication he is still haunted by memories of torture he experienced in captivity, sometimes to the point of having suicidal thoughts.

“When they released me, they said: ‘He can’t do anything. Let’s show the whole world. We are victorious,’” he said.

“They must have expected me to commit suicide as soon as I was released. In truth, they still scare me now. But when I think of the North Korean people and defectors, who are in greater pain than I, I can’t die.”

He said authorities shot footage of him being sexually tortured.

During the interview, he said the conditions were so bad that he prayed for Kim Jong-il’s death, but then stopped and began praying for his own.

On Christmas Day 2009, Park crossed the Tumen River carrying a letter asking North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to free the 200,000 people reportedly languishing in the country’s brutal political prisoner system.

Reports by the U.N. and other organizations say North Koreans are subject to vast malnutrition due to chronic food shortages, widespread torture and forced labor.

Describing the situation as the “worst act of genocide since the Holocaust,” Park called on the international community to do more as the fate of North Koreans is “everyone’s responsibility.”

“The (Korean) government should change its approach entirely,” he said, urging powers to make human rights the top priority.


He's right, human rights in NK should be a top priority. I was encouraged by a rumor that China temporarily cut off NK's oil supply (China supplies 90% of NK's oil) in response to their recent threats against the South. They may have prevented war. I'm also encouraged by recent news reports that China's president Hu has acknowledged that China needs to get its own human rights house in order. But as they do that, they also need to weild some influence over their near neighbor and ally. NK is probably the worst human rights abuser on the planet right now, having institutionalized atrocity not seen outside the holocaust in the modern era.

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