Welcome to Positive Activism. Our first post focuses on the horrible situation in North Korea.
North Korea, a nation formed, sustained, and broken by war. World War II brought about the end of Japan’s colonization of Korea, and the formation of two nations; North Korea, supported and funded by the communist north (mainly China and Russia) and its brother to the south, a nation endorsed by the west. Soon the Democratic Leader in the south, Syngman Rhee, decided that he was the sole leader of all of Korea. Not long afterward Kim Il-Sung also had a revelation that he was the true leader of both nations. Thus we have the Korean War. Lasting three years, from 1950 to 1953, the war contained some of most brutal fighting the world has ever seen.
Needless to say, both nations were devastated. And both ran into obstacles in their reconstruction process. While the communist north initially out-competed its counterpart (mainly due to huge subsidies and beneficial trading agreements with Russia and China.), they eventually fell on hard times when communism collapsed in the early 1990s. Massive famine rocked the nation and killed millions. Experts agree that this was the worst famine in the last 50 years. As the decade progressed Kim Il-Sung died and was replaced by his son Kim Jong-il in 1994.
Sixteen years later almost nothing has changed. All foreign and humanitarian aid is diverted to keeping the regime alive. Men women and children are completely neglected in favor of nuclear capability and military might. Kim Jong-il is dead, leaving the mess to his son Kim Jong-un.
No outside information. — The government disallows ANY information not produced by the party. Meaning citizens are fed all propaganda all the time.
No travel. — Only top ranking officials are allowed to travel outside their city of residence. Anyone who disobeys this law could be sent to a “work” camp.
No food. — The nation has never recovered from the famine and the citizens are dying everyday. The administration remains apathetic, with their main priority being regime control.
No escape. — No escape from this hellhole. Trying to flee is punishable by execution. And if that isn’t enough, the next three generations of your family are sent to concentration camps. Where they will die.
Those who are courageous enough to risk being killed by Korean snipers along the border don’t have a bright future even after they escape. The only feasible way out of the country is through China seeing as the North/South border is 2 miles across and filled with over 2 million land mines, electric fences, barbed wire, and snipers. So instead most refugees must swim across a river that marks the North Korean/Chinese border.
If they are not shot or drown, in the process, then they must immediately go into hiding. This is a result of a disgusting Chinese policy (that completely disregards international law and humanitarian treaties) that sends any North Korean caught in China back to their country, where they will almost undoubtedly be executed. The way that China justifies this horrible practice is by dubbing the Koreans “economic migrants” instead of refugees.
If you want to learn more about the insane amount of censorship, propaganda, and oppression in North Korea, we suggest National Geographic’s 55 minute take on the country. It can be watched right here or on Netflix.
Please do something to help. Even getting educated about the issue so that you can pass that information along to others is doing these people a huge favor.
If you want to help in any other ways we will include a few NGOs below that could use help in any possible way. These people are living in some of the worst conditions possible in 2012. They deserve to experience the same level of happiness as US!