Hidden Gulag

I thought I might be able to write a more positive entry after so long away from the blog but it was not to be. Don’t think that I am a merchant of doom and gloom however. I can be as positive as the next guy but it just so happens that I read something recently and it moved me so much that I wanted to write about it before anything else. I hope the long wait between posts here is explained by the importance of this subject.
I have recently read Hidden Gulag 2 (link below) by David Hawk, a revised and augmented edition of his work, Hidden Gulag.
If you want to read something that will make you despair for humanity and what we do to our fellow human beings, you should read this document. Even if you do not want to know, I think it is important that you read this. I was one quarter of the way in and wanted to stop but realised that I owed it to these people to continue reading.
It tells the story through eyewitness accounts by former victims and in some cases perpetrators of what has been happening in the North Korean prison system. I use the term ‘prison’ very loosely because as you will find when you read it, these people are political prisoners who are there because they tried to go to China to get food or happen to have been caught singing a South Korean song. Some were even born into this sad nightmare such as Shin Dong-Hyuk who managed to escape from Camp 14.
I won’t go into detail about what the document covers as I really hope that you find the time to read it yourself. Instead I want to write about North Korea and how we continue to enable this situation to continue. Why do we continue to provide food relief to North Korea when according to the document above, very little if any of this food reaches the people who need it most? Is this a payoff for North Korea not to pursue a deployable nuclear capability? If so, that has not worked so well. It is difficult to not want to give food in the face of such extreme malnutrition but if this food is only used to keep the security state from rising up against the Kim family, perhaps that would be an alternative to the current situation.
I am hardly an expert on the situation on the Korean peninsula but this situation cannot be allowed to continue. The Holocaust of the Second World War claimed around 6 million lives and possibly more in the short period of time it was in place. Although the situation in Korea is not as ‘efficient’ or quick in how it disposes of people, it is equally horrendous and again, nothing is being done. Do we buy our safety by turning a blind eye to their suffering and giving tonnes of rice and wheat as foreign aid? Not in mine name, thank you.
Please read the document in the link higher up in this entry. Please don’t be daunted by the number of pages. If you must, skip to the testimonies from the victims. I do not have an answer to this situation but I know that what we are doing now is not working.


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