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Korean-American Activist Secretly Enters N. Korea

Posted December. 28, 2009 11:45,   


A Korean-American activist for North Korean human rights is known to have secretly entered North Korea Friday via China.

Robert Park (Korean name Park Dong-hoon), 28, is the head of Freedom and Life 2009, a U.S-based organization promoting human rights in North Korea.

Pax Koreana, another organization for North Korean human rights, said Sunday that Park entered the North Korean village of Dangwon-ri in Hoeryong, North Hamkyong Province, by crossing the Duman River from China around 5 a.m. Friday. He reportedly carried a letter urging North Korean leaders to assure human rights for their people.

In his letter addressed to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and other high-ranking officials in Pyongyang, Park said, “We simply want every North Korean to enjoy a free and safe life.”

In an interview with Reuters Wednesday in Seoul just before leaving for China, he said, “As a Christian, I think entering North Korea is my duty.”

“Even if I’m detained in North Korea, I don’t want the U.S. government to save me,” he added, referring to U.S. government intervention that got two American journalists freed in August.

The U.S. State Department said Friday in Washington, “The U.S. government puts utmost priority on protection and safety of American citizens,” reflecting the basic U.S. stance on the matter.

Pyongyang made no comment on Park’s entry as of Sunday.