White House to Take North Korea Off 'Terror List' - However, SERIOUS Human Rights Problems Remain
by architek, Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 06:07:27 AM EDT
The White House
announced today that it is taking North Korea off the list of countries that 'directly support terrorism'.
This may be true. As far as we know, North Korea only supports counterfeiting, drug manufacture, and mass enslavement of its people, not manufacturing nuclear bombs for sale. (although they have been known to sell complete missile making kits to Middle Eastern and African nations)
So -this can be misleading! They are not on the right path, yet.
Shouldn't one of the major reasons for placing North Korea in the category of pariah nations be their horrible treatment of their own people?
In that respect, little has changed.
From the Bush administration statement:
""This can be a moment of opportunity for North Korea," said President Bush, announcing the declaration at the White House. "If it continues to make the right choices it can repair its relationship with the international community."
I would ask Mr. Bush to make a stronger effort to force North Korea to open up its borders and release the millions of people held in its huge network of slave labor camps, where human rights conditions are among the worst in the world.
Also, economic conditions in the parts of North Korea that are reserved for those from 'bad' 'family background' are so bad that cannibalism is not unknown (although it is punishable by death) For that reason, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have fled the only way possible, into China, where they are hunted down like animals, sold or kept in slavery as illegal immigrants.
This is a terrible situation. Surely, the United States has it in our hearts to provide some kind of help to North Koreans living as refugees in China.
North Korea pays China a bounty of around $300 for each North Korean caught and returned to North Korea. Returned escapees will typically be prosecuted, then imprisoned, or, if it is their third attempt, summarily executed, for the crime of betraying the fatherland by leaving.
Surely the US could match that $300 and provide a new start for North Korean refugees somewhere in the US, where they would be happy to get a new start. Many have led terrible lives and they are also discriminated against in South Korea (Still, around 3000 have finally made it there, often having had to traverse all around Asia to finally reach South Korea, since travel through the DMZ, and indeed, travel through the DPRK, since one needs a permit for any inter-county travel, is impossible.)
Several North Korean refugees live in the US. Many others live in South Korea. Their stories are heartbreaking, but they are also interesting because they show in graphic detail what life is like under totalitarianism. They will make you count your blessings.
The escapees accounts can be read on a number of websites that support North Korean human rights. This is an issue that transcends politics. Hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees hide in northeast China.
Their plight is also of crucial importance. They need a safe place they can go and live in peace.
I am linking to some web pages where you can learn more about human rights in North Korea after the link.
Please write your elected representatives and ask that the US put more pressure on North Korea to end the prison camps and open up to the rest of the world, regardless of the scrutiny that a legacy of 60 years of mass murder on a gargantuan scale would reveal.
The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
North Korean Human Rights (organization in South Korea)