While Obama was a communist sympathizer, thank God for Trump who speaks truth about the anguish, devastation, & failures of communism. A video recording of President Trump on human rights abuses in North Korea is included on a USB stick in a rice bottle. Unfortunately, North Korean Defectors’ efforts are being blocked by the South Korean Government.
On May 1, four days after the historic handshake between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea, a group of North Korean defectors gathered on the shores of South Korea’s Ganghwa Island, only 8 miles from the North Korean coast. Under a cloudy sky, they threw into the ocean hundreds of watertight plastic bottles filled with rice, USB drives, dollar bills, and antibiotic ointment. Taped to each bottle was a plastic-wrapped book of Genesis and a study guide.The bottles bobbed in the cold water, the current carrying them quickly toward their destination: coastal towns in closed North Korea, where impoverished residents are blocked from information about the outside world.
“The rice in the bottles won’t last long, but the USBs could change their lives,” said Park Jung-oh, a North Korean defector and activist participating in the bottle launch. Twice a month, members from the defector organization No Chain for North Korea send out bottles, each time changing their contents. Because churches funded the current launch, the USBs included a copy of the Bible, a hymnal, and an animation about Jesus, along with South Korean dramas, documentaries on North Korea, and a video recording of President Donald Trump’s speech in Seoul on human rights abuses in North Korea.“
As defectors, we know the North Korean mentality and what types of content can break down the government’s brainwashing,” said Park, 48.Bottles ready for launch (Angela Lu Fulton)Park Jung-oh and his brother, Park Sang-hak, 50, are part of a vocal group of defectors who bring hope and information to those still living in North Korea through rice bottle launches, shortwave radio programs, and balloon launches that carry leaflets over the North’s heavily guarded border.Yet despite their dedicated work and concern for North Korean human rights, defectors are now finding their work hampered by the South Korean government. Under President Moon Jae-in, South Korea has adopted a reconciliatory approach toward North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong Un: At the recent summit, the two sides agreed to “completely cease all hostile acts against each other,” including the broadcasting of propaganda over giant loudspeakers and balloon drops.The Moon administration has also silenced outspoken defectors, such as Thae Yong-ho, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador to Britain.
In April, agents from Moon’s National Intelligence Service blocked the cable network Channel A from filming a speech by Thae at a human rights conference, then forcibly ushered him away as he began to answer a reporter’s question. Defectors say it is reminiscent of former liberal President Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy, when the government quieted defectors in order to improve relations with the North. Suzanne Scholte, head of the U.S.-based North Korea Freedom Coalition, called the latest developments “devastating,” as “silence means death for North Koreans.”For now, the rice bottle launches are allowed to continue, since they provide humanitarian aid to North Korea. Yet standing on the rocky shore of Ganghwa, Jung-oh expressed concern that a balloon launch later in the week might be stopped. The balloon launch, a project led by Sang-hak, would cap off the last day of the 15th annual North Korea Freedom Week, an observance promoting North Korean human rights. This year, Freedom Week was held at an opportune time: immediately following the Moon-Kim summit and just weeks ahead of President Trump’s planned June meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. [Editor’s note: On Thursday morning, May 24, after this story went to press, President Trump announced in a letter that he was canceling his planned June 12 meeting with Kim.] Park Jung-oh (Angela Lu Fulton)
MANY SOUTH KOREANS are excited about the possibility of peace between the North and the South, the proposed “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” and a final end to the Korean War. According to a recent poll, 78 percent of South Koreans say they trust Kim Jong Un after the summit, only months after he threatened to bomb the U.S. territory of Guam and a year after he evidently ordered the assassination of his half-brother.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with Kim twice ahead of Trump’s meeting, said Washington would lift sanctions on North Korea if the country agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and allow a “robust verification program” to ensure it follows through. As a measure of goodwill, North Korea released three U.S. prisoners, two of whom taught at the Christian-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Yet North Korean defectors, who perhaps best understand the mindset of the northern regime’s Kim family, see nothing to cheer about. They distrust Kim Jong Un, whose government actively persecutes defectors’ family members. They doubt a regime that has spent years starving its own people and killing political rivals will suddenly begin keeping its promises. READ MORE: Acts of defiance | WORLD News Group