Archive: December, 2011
Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Opinion Columnist
The obits for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il are filled with details about his weird personal habits and his country’s nukes, but the history books will reveal him as one of the great mass murderers of our times.
One of my most chilling journalistic experiences – in 2004 in South Korea - was interviewing a handful of North Koreans who had managed to escape to Seoul, and listening to the horrors they’d endured in their home country. Only a few thousand North Koreans have made it out, and they bear witness to the terrible suffering that Kim, and his father Kim Il Sung, inflicted on the North Korean population. Their crimes are on a par with the autogenocide conducted by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.
Much of the world knows that more than one million North Koreans perished of starvation in the last decade due to the regime’s bizarre economic policies. But, because the North Korean regime seals its own people off from the outside world, and permits only a few carefully controlled visitors in, Americans are less aware of North Korea’s death camps. They still reputedly hold 200,000 political prisoners, including many Christians.