Friday, August 3, 2012

This. Must. Stop: "Labor Camps" Are Nothing of the Sort.

   When I saw Night and Fog when I was a sophomore in high school, my world changed. I had not heard about the Holocaust before then. I went home, threw up, and said, "This can't ever happen again." G-d drew me to stand alongside the Jewish people passionately partly through this film. (not for viewing by children) That film depicts the epitome of evil. For several years, I was able to show it the high school I work in as part of the curriculum. I had filed "Nazi camps" under "horrors which must never happen again."

It was not until I read Escape from Camp 14 that I recognized how alive that  beast still is-- and for more than the last fifty years. Thousands have been sent to the camp because their relatives escaped to South Korea-- and once there, they and any progeny they are allowed by the camp to have are slaves there for live. Anyone in a camp is considered to have "bad blood" which must be cleansed.

 Here are the Ten Commandments of North Korean camp life-- which residents must recite upon demand.  
  1. Do not try to escape. 
  2. Groups of two or more are prohibited from assembling to devise a plot or to attempt to escape.  No more than two prisoners can meet together.Anyone who fails to secure permission from a guard for a meeting of more than two prisoners will be shot immediately. Those who trespass into the guards' village or who damage public property will be shot immediately. No gathering may exceed the number of prisoners allowed by the guard in charge. Outside work, no group of prisoners may gather without permission. At night, three or more prisoners cannot travel together without permission from the guard in charge. 
  3. Do not steal. Anyone found stealing or in possession of arms will be shot immediately. Anyone who does not report or who aids a person who has stolen or possesses arms will be shot immediately. Anyone who steals or conceals any foodstuffs will be shot immediately. Anyone who deliberately damages any materials used in the camp will be shot immediately. 
  4.  Guards must be obeyed unconditionally. Anyone who harbors ill will toward or physically assaults a guard will be shot immediately. Anyone who fails to demonstrate total compliance with a guard's instructions will be shot immediately. There must be no backtalk or complaints to a guard. When meeting a guard, one must bow deferentially. 
  5.  Anyone who sees a fugitive or suspicious figure must promptly report him. Anyone who provides cover for or protects a fugitive will be shot immediately. Anyone who holds or hides a fugitive's possessions, conspires with him, or fails to report him will be shot immediately. 
  6. Prisoners must watch one another and report any suspicious behavior immediately. Each prisoner must observe others and remain vigilant. The speech and conduct of others must be observed closely. Should anything arouse suspicion, a guard must be notified immediately. Prisoners must faithfully attend meetings of ideological struggle and they must censure themselves and others vehemently. 
  7.  Prisoners must more than fulfill the work assigned them each day. Prisoners who neglect their work quota or fail to complete it will be considered to harbor discontent and will be shot immediately. Each prisoner must be solely responsible for his work quota. To fulfill one's work quota is to wash away sins, as well as to recompense the state for the forgiveness it has shown. The work quota as assigned by a guard may not be changed. 
  8. Beyond the workplace, there must be no intermingling between the sexes for personal reasons. Should sexual physical contact occur without prior approval, the perpetrators will be shot immediately. Beyond the workplace, there must be no conversing between the sexes without prior approval. One is prohibited from visiting bathrooms designated for members of the opposite sex without prior approval. Without special reason, members of opposite sexes many not go about holding hands or sleep alongside each other. Without prior approval, prisoners may not visit living quarters of the opposite sex. 
  9.  Prisoners must genuinely repent of their errors. Anyone who does not acknowledge his sins and instead denies them or carries a deviant opinion of them will be shot immediately. One must reflect deeply upon the sins he has committed against his country and society and strive to wash himself of them. Only after have acknowledged and reflected deeply upon them can a prisoner begin anew. 
  10. Prisoners who violate the laws and regulations of the camp will be shot immediately. All prisoners must truly consider the guards as their teachers, and, abiding by the ten laws and regulations of the camp, yield themselves through toil and discipline to washing away their past errors." from Escape from Camp 14 (Harden 193-196). 

If this North Korean athlete had not won gold, she would have been sent to such a camp.  If she had not won and tried to defect, her entire extended family would have been rounded up and sent in her place.  

Now The Peoples' Republic of North Korea is in the news again-- the headline reads North Korea's Key to Olympic Medals: Refrigerators for Winners, Labor Camp Threats for Losers.    

This must stop.  North Korea's labor camps must stop.  God's FATHER heart wants this evil government taken down and the hearts of North Koreans to belong to Him.  He hears the cries of those who call out-- maybe not even knowing who they are calling out to-- for truth to set them free.   Pray along with me for the Good News of Messiah to go forth powerfully in North Korea, to bring the evil regime down, and to heal the wounds that lies and cruelty have inflicted on a people G-d loves.  

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