Friday, July 4, 2014

Truth Inside and Outside the Balloon

People will think that I would know a lot about North Korea because I am a Korean. Having lived and educated in South Korea for fourteen years, I was rarely informed about the people’s lives in North Korea. Few days ago, I saw a video on YouTube that was filmed in North Korea for my English class and was shocked by North Koreans’ infinite veneration toward the Great Leaders. The loudspeaker in every house was one of the few sources of information. Lifestyles of North Koreans these days are as undeveloped as those of South Koreans fifty years ago. North Korea is definitely the most isolated and strict country in the world.

Park Sang Hak, a Korean democracy activist, is a defector who was once part of the elite in North Korea. He used to like his life in North Korea and his view towards the government changed completely when he saw people starving to death. After he defected to South Korea, he joined South Korea’s propaganda efforts by stuffing giant air balloons with USB drivers and DVDs to send over to North Korea to inform its people the truth. In North Korea, only upper class professionals and students have Internet access so the only way that most North Koreans obtain information about anything is through government announcement but these announcements are sometimes falsely revised to deify Kim Jung Un and his family. The government is deceiving its people. Every citizen of every country has the right to know how his government operates and to be informed about governmental decisions but most North Koreans are clueless about what Kim Jung Un is doing today.

North Korea government mercilessly kills people who do anything that are not in accordance with the belief of the Great Leader. More and more North Koreans are trying to defect these days and if one gets caught trying to defect, the whole family will be executed. Park Sung Hak is known as “target zero” in North Korea and the state government sends Park death threats to him and his family that once they get caught, they will be killed. On Article thirteen on Universal Declaration of Human rights, it states that “Everybody has the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country” and the government is clearly violating it.

As I get to know more and more about North Korea, I do not want to believe that all those are true stories. People cannot leave the country without a special reason and whoever tries to do so get executed. People outside North Korea are sending balloons instead of emailing or calling them on the phone to give information to people. North Korea government has taken away numerous rights from its citizens and it seems like most people are not realizing that they are deprived of rights. I really think that more North Koreans should be informed about the truth and that they should take careful actions to get those rights back from the government for themselves and everybody else in the country.


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