03 January 2010

The Courageous but Perhaps Misguided Mr. Park

Man crosses over into North Korea on purpose. From the interview:

The North Korean human rights crisis by murder rate is the worst in the world. An estimated 1,000 people a day die by starvation and starvation is a murder case. North Korea has been sent more food aid than any nation in the world but the food has not gone to the people who need it. So this is murder.

But not only that, there are concentration camps in North Korea that are of the same brutality as in Nazi Germany.

Responsible governments are completely silent about the issue. The United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have a huge responsibility to speak out about this because all these nations played a role the arbitrary division of the Koreas, where not a single Korean was consulted. Yet the lives of these people are of no issue to these governments. That is a crime. It is a huge crime.

Even if Mr. Park is wrong about his figures, which does not seem to be the case, North Korea is a truly and incomprehensibly horrific state. Mr. Park, despite anything else you might want to say about him, is absolutely right that all people—especially developed Western countries with a whole bunch of great things to say about due process, various freedoms, etc.—have a basic moral obligation to speak out against North Korea. Why are our leaders mum? (No, really, I don't know.) What's in it for them to play with kid gloves?

Mr. Park compares the situation to Nazi Germany. While there are some major differences that he is overlooking, he is right in that there are very real horrors being perpetrated against innocent human beings as we speak and we have an obligation to do all that we can to stop them. The conflict between North Korea and the United States, et al. is no mere minute ideological quibble. Call me old-fashioned but I am willing to put my foot down and say that tyranny (especially that based on mass-killing, starvation, and other human rights abuses) is totally unacceptable and is fundamentally wrong.

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