Raising Awareness of the Suffering in North Korea
What We Don't Know
There are millions of people starving in North Korea. This is not because of a lack of resources but simply because of the Communistic government that exists under Kim Jong-il. There are hundreds of thousands fleeing the country as refugees in hopes of simply a better life. What is even more disheartening or shocking about this is the fact that all those refugees fleeing across the border of North Korea into China are being treated as invaders. If you are caught in China because you are North Korean, you will be sent back to North Korea where you will face either a concentration camp or execution. Yeah, believe it or not, concentration camps or “death camps” still exist. These poor people only want to live FREELY. What inhumane society can refuse bare liberty?
If this is a rather new topic for you as it was for me, please allow me to break this into a little more detail. From the time you are born, you are born into a class. Even the highest class is rationed, but the lower class is very poorly rationed at that, meaning they receive barely enough food to get by. Shockingly enough, there is a class below this. These poorer people feed off the garbage of poor people. They are frequently plagued by disease, malnutrition and starvation. At the age of only 7, North Korean children and South Korean children show a height difference of approximately 12 centimeters. At what point does a growing child meet such deplorable conditions as not to continue growing properly?
At What Point Do We Draw the Line as Human Beings?
Something that is illegal here in the U.S., but still goes under the radar is the selling and consumption of bushmeat, or butchered primates. Chimpanzees are our closest DNA relative, and classified as primates. AIDS was believed to have developed from a species of Chimpanzee hunted in Africa. After so much blood exposure between humans and chimpanzees, it is speculated that simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) was modified to form human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), not to mention that roughly 50% of all primates are endangered. Almost all people would agree that the act of feeding off these animals is atrocious and needless in our country, however, North Korea has reached a point where they have surpassed this reprehensible behavior.
Human meat is being sold on the black market. Children are disappearing and finding their way to the market, being bought and eaten. If this doesn't sear your heart, surely you do not own one. What kind of desperate conditions drive a person to such unpardonable behavior??
If that doesn't tug at your heart strings, pregnant women who are caught as refugees and sent back to North Korea are not allowed to give birth to their children. They are forced into abortion or even tortured and beaten, leaving them without child.
The Suffering in North Korea Right Now
It enrages me to think of all these poor, innocent people, suffering while I am so well taken care of. How could I have not known of all this and been blind to all the torment? I am sure many of you reading this feel the same. So I asked myself, “Isn’t there anything I can do to raise awareness of the atrocity?” The only thing I could think of is to talk about it and raise awareness. So here’s the basic synopsis.
The only hope for these people at this point is to run away from North Korea. The way they must do this is by crossing the border to China and hopefully traveling far enough to get to another more-welcoming country like Mongolia or possibly even fly to South Korea. The problem is that the Chinese government refuses to see these illegal immigrants as refugees. Instead they choose to label ALL incoming immigrants as economic migrants. They hunt them down and force them back to North Korea cruelly, knowing they will face torture or death. Please just watch this video or at least take the time to tell others. This news must get out. The more who know, the better chance we have of making an impact. The government can’t ignore something if enough people feel strongly enough about it.
Why I Wrote This
Over time I’ve truly struggled as a writer, attempting to find what I should be writing about. But today, I watched a documentary with two of my best friends. It was about refugees from North Korea. And I spent a lot of time afterwards discussing how we could raise awareness of the pain and suffering that is occurring. Both of their families are from South Korea so they were much more educated on the topic than I was. I was simply shocked and appalled that this is happening in our world today. I guess I had always been aware of suffering, but I—being as fortunate as I am living in such a free country—completely neglected thought of the severity of this struggling.
Watching this video, I was confronted with so many suffering and fighting for what we, as Americans, take for granted. Earlier today, I was complaining about the lack of air conditioning in my dorm room. These people are fighting for survival, for food, for clean water, for treatment that any normal human being should expect. Who would think that a person in this world would be treated subpar because of a societal “status” application?