Read todays news and you will be transferred into a different time, although not so long ago but still something most of us think belongs to generations who are no longer with us. Some might be reminded of Nazi Germany, other the peak of Stalin’s evil rule of the USSR, the desperate fear of Romanians from secret police and the mass “disappearance” of thousands in Argentina in the 80s’, but North Korea seems, at least by this recent UN report on its human rights abuse, to top it all, and do this at global solitude.
Almost everyone knows that North Korea is a tough nut to crack, it has its nuclear weapons which every now and again it publicly threatens to make use of, and it is basically cut off from the rest of the world. Its former leader considered as a living god, its decadents turned gods themselves and inherit the country from their dead father.
The focus on the security council on the possible nuclear threat of North Korea’s weapon arsenal has created a situation in which the UN, as most other formal channels, ignore what is actually going on in this country, or at least the reports that manage to find their way to Western ears.
Getting out of North Korea is nearly impossible, the boarder with its much hated neighbor the South Korea is so heavily fortified and filled with land mines that it is impossible to survive the pass, the other boarder with with China, it is a rather large stretch of land that would have its successful travelers land in Chinese hands after they managed to dodge the North Korea army patrols. Those who are brave enough to try this know that if they get caught by the Chinese they will be returned to North Korea, because the Chinese, not great champions of respecting human rights, do not want to get any trouble over a few (or even many) North Koreans.
And so we get the news from the few, very few, who manage to escape the country and avoid the Chinese, and one can only imagine what a small group of fortunate individuals this makes. The descriptions of the horrors of the country are abundant, from government authorized murders and executions to near slavery conditions to men and pregnant women, the list is long and difficult to digest.
Every now and again when we discuss the crimes of the past, mass murder of people, the abuse of citizens by their governments and human rights abuses some good people ask themselves what would they do if they were living at the time these things took place, well this one is not a story or distant history – this is going on right now, and all the peoples of this world share this shame.