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Presidential hopefuls must see true face of North Korea

Posted March. 30, 2017 09:26,   

Updated March. 30, 2017 09:27


The United States and China are seeing the situation on the Korean Peninsula the most dangerous since the 1950-1953 Korean War. They are anxious over how the North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un’s nuclear madness will hijack the peninsula, as Pyongyang is weighing the timing for its sixth nuclear test.

First, we need to see why North Korea has not collapsed despite a series of United Nations sanctions.

North Korea has survived numerous international sanctions because of its idolization of its leaders, the monolithic leadership system, concentration camps for political prisoners, public executions and assassinations, nationwide surveillance system, natural-born deceptive tactics, China’s protection, and the sunshine policy of engagement with the North.

The monolithic leadership system holds hostage the lives of 2.5 million North Koreans for the sake of the North’s hereditary power succession. North Korea treats people’s lives like things or animals. North Koreans are sent to a concentration camp just by mentioning Kim Il Sung’s hump on the back of his neck. The entire family members of a political prisoner die from starvation or forced labor. Starved prisoners eat even earthworms, frogs, snakes and rats. The concentration camps are filled with bodies of people who died from starvation, forced labor, tortures or illegal executions. North Korean defector Kang Chol Hwan wrote in his book “The Aquariums of Pyongyang” that a snake in a concentration is considered a luck that is as big as a cow.

Deceptions are the nature of the North’s hereditary tyranny that has lasted for seven decades. Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador, claimed that North Korean agents poisoning assassination in February of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was a political fabrication by the U.S. and South Korea. He also argued that the poison used in the assassination was probably brought into Malaysia by Seoul.

I have read all the memoires and written accounts by North Korean defectors and experts who have been to the North. My conclusion is that North Korea has a slavery system. Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean diplomat who defected to the South last year, also said he escaped his country to sever the chains of slavery for his children. Those who have been to concentration camps in North Korea have made vivid and horrible accounts of their lives as slaves.

Last year, the U.S. Republican Party’s platform called North Korea a “slave state”of the Kim Jong Un family. The Democratic Party’s platform defined the North as "perhaps the most repressive regime on the planet, run by a sadistic dictator.” In May 2016, Kati Piri, a member of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, branded North Korean laborers overseas as “modern-day slaves.”

French human rights activist Pierre Rigoulot argued in his contribution to the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique that the only way to save North Koreans from slavery is to take Kim Jong Un to the International Court of Justice. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin ran concentration camps for political prisoners for 12 years and 32 years, respectively. Although the camp were closed when the dictators died, the Kim family’s concentration camps are continued for over six decades through three generations of hereditary power succession.

I am concerned if some politicians’ thoughtless and populist pro-North Korean rhetoric and disparaging of the South Korea-U.S. alliance will have a significantly negative impact on South Korea at this critical juncture. Presidential hopefuls must throw away their fantasy about North Korea and see its true face. If the political forces who bankrolled the North’s nuclear development with the sunshine policy are acting rashly as if they had taken power thanks to the conservatives’ collapse following President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, they would put the nation into a greater jeopardy.

Written by Yoh Yeung-moo, director of the Liberty Korea