This April 28, it is certain that the number of people who will turn out in Washington, DC to push for the North Korea Freedom Act will be far less than the number who would turn out in opposition to a war with North Korea. Why do anti-war protestors not take up anti-genocide efforts with the same zeal, even when the number of lives lost may be much greater in genocide than in war? It need not be an either/or choice between being anti-war and anti-genocide, but based on the numbers of protestors in both venues, it seems to turn out that way.One of our mottos is: “Let all the anti-war protestors of tomorrow join our anti-genocide efforts of today”. It was adopted in view of Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic, 2002). If the number of protestors who had turned out in New York to oppose the current Iraq war had also turned out to oppose, for example, the lack of US intervention in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, President Clinton would have been more prone to act decisively and there might still be 800,000 Rwandans alive today. But alas, the same person who had opposed US intervention in Rwanda, Richard Clarke, is lauded by anti-war activists for his criticisms of the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq. (more…)
Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category
“If you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death,
those who go staggering to the slaughter;
if you say, ‘Look, we did not know this’-
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
And will he not repay all according to their deeds?” Proverbs 24:11-12
It has been a daily struggle for me to believe, not whether God exists, but whether God is present in North Korea. What follows is an account of how I got involved in the North Korean human rights movement, why I want to give up, and why I fight. (more…)
“They initially wanted to go to the United States, but Washington rejected their demand, citing its position that it does not accept North Korean defectors.”
4 N. Koreans arrive in Seoul, Korea Times, July 9, 2003
“Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”
Inscription on the Statue of Liberty
“Why should we expend energy and time on getting N. Koreans to the United States when they can and ought to go to South Korea which is democratic, capitalist, and has a large church presence? Not to mention, they share the same language and heritage.” (more…)
On July 4, 2003, four young N. Korean refugees gained their independence upon entering a foreign consulate in China. At one point, Chinese police tried dragging the four teenagers out of a building in order to arrest and deport them back to North Korea. The refugees cried, tearfully yelled out that the media were watching, and ultimately struggled free.
Staff members of The Chosun Journal spoke with the shaken but exuberant N. Koreans as soon as they were inside the consulate. They thanked us and testified that it was our prayers that protected them. (more…)
“First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time
there was no one left to speak up for me.”
Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
Today I joined about thirty others in front of the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles to protest against Beijing’s crackdown on N. Korean refugees. It was the second time in my life that I had participated in a protest rally. (more…)
Those sympathetic with North Korean human rights must be the least susceptible to flinching every time Pyongyang pulls the war card. Of course a war on the peninsula would likely be devastating. Everyone acknowledges that, especially Pyongyang, which is the problem, at least from a human rights standpoint.
With avoiding war on the Korean peninsula always taking the highest priority in the global community’s mind, the moment Pyongyang accedes to acting civilly after a big financial payoff and greater international acceptance of its cult dynasty, the world breathes a sigh of relief as if the only catastrophe worth averting has been achieved. (more…)
I know that the contents on this site at first glance can be overwhelming. That the disheartening facts made available here can cripple the soul.
So how does one overcome the sense of paralysis that takes over all of us when we face such seemingly insurmountable obstacles and depressing news that look totally beyond our powers to overcome and which makes us want to turn away with the feeling that trying to do anything at all would just be futile? (more…)