The prison Country

Publish date 14-10-2020

by Nello Scavo

Kim Jong-un's 10 commandments are easy to remember: don't run away; the gathering of three or more prisoners is prohibited; do not steal; obey the orders of the guards; warn immediately when you see a stranger or a suspicious person; monitor others and promptly report on unusual behavior of other prisoners; carry out all assigned tasks in full; contacts between men and women, except for authorized work needs, are prohibited; sincerely repent of one's mistakes; immediate shooting for those who violate the laws of the field.

Doubts about the health of the young dictator are bringing questions about what becomes of thousands of dissident Koreans in the newspapers. At least 150 thousand would be in concentration camps, sentenced to forced labor. Christians are being brainwashed. By replacing the Ten Commandments of the old testament with those that Kim Joung-un wrote for the damned of the camps of Yodok, Bukchang, Kaechon and Chongori. Several times I have tried to tell what happens to Christians who live in a country transformed into a remote and impenetrable prison. The stories that leak from the very few surviving fugitives are chilling. The lucky ones are released years later, when considered fully "re-educated". The others are shipped for life in "total control zones".
Each year, the Freedom House human rights group ranks countries according to the situation of political rights and civil liberties. North Korea is the only nation to take last place for more than 30 consecutive years. According to the Reporters Without Borders organization, North Korea also ranks last in the press freedom ranking. The North Korean regime doesn't just punish the individual. But the whole family is condemned: parents, grandparents, children. All are sent to labor camps.
Some reported seeing mutilated prisoners, others disfigured by torture. The work is done in groups and anyone who breaks a rule is savagely punished. It must be the fellow prisoners, under the gaze of the military, to brutally punish those who have violated the "commandments". Sexual intercourse is prohibited, except for "model prisoners". Infants born from clandestine relationships are immediately euthanized and if a woman is discovered with an "unauthorized pregnancy", she is forced to abort.

These thousands of prisoners represent a productive force at no cost to the regime, which employs them as slaves in factories, crops and mines. Christianity, therefore, is one of the main enemies of tyranny. the information is fragmented and often arrives after many years, when someone manages to escape. In 2014, over 30 people were sentenced to death on a specific charge: "They conspired to overthrow the regime by creating 500 clandestine family communities." In other words, for having gathered in prayer in small groups. Specifically, according to some South Korean information sources, at least 33 (of whose fate nothing has been known) would have collaborated with Kim Jung-wook, a South Korean citizen arrested and accused of having created clandestine Christian family communities. Kim, a Christian-Baptist missionary, was even kidnapped by North Korean agents in Chinese territory, in the border town of Dandong and taken to North Korea.
Christianity is a religion inherently incompatible with any form of authoritarianism. North Korean tyranny cannot therefore afford the expansion of such a threat.

The death sentence of the Christian "conspirators" came shortly after the release of the Australian missionary John Short, expelled to China after being detained for several days in North Korea on charges of circulating leaflets subversives in a Buddhist temple and aboard a train. Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, was released in November 2014 after two years in prison. He should have served a sentence of 15 years, but being a foreign citizen, Pyongyang preferred to teach him a lesson and make it known to the world.

Nello Scavo
NP August / September 2020


One Country, two States
Korea gained independence from Japan in 1945. In 1948 the country was divided into two independent states, the north became the communist People's Republic of Kim-Il-Sung and the south the pro-American Republic of Korea, ruled dictatorially by the president Syngman Rhee. In 1950 North Korea attempted by force to unify the entire peninsula, invading South Korea and starting the Korean War, which lasted three years and also involved America and China. Eventually the pre-existing borders were confirmed and an area of 4 kilometers was created along the entire border, known as the Demilitarized Zone, which was a zone of continuous conflict for another 45 years. The political regime of North Korea continues to be in the hands of the descendants of Kim Il-Sung, the "Great Leader", hero of the anti-Japanese resistance and creator of the Juche (self-sufficiency) ideology. On his death in 1994, he was succeeded by his son Kim Jong-il, the "Dear Leader", a staunch follower of his father's nuclear program. His third son Kim Jong-un, the "Brilliant Companion" or "Supreme Leader", has been in power since 2011.

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