December 26, 2009

HUSH UP ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, THE UR IS KOWTOWING:

Location of U.S. Christian Missionary In North Korea Unknown (AP, December 26, 2009)

An American Christian missionary slipped into isolated North Korea on Christmas Day, shouting that he brought God's love and carrying a letter urging leader Kim Jong Il to step down and free all political prisoners, an activist said Saturday.

Robert Park, 28, crossed a poorly guarded stretch of the frozen Tumen River that separates North Korea from China, according to a member of the Seoul-based group Pax Koreana, which promotes human rights in the North. Two other activists apparently watched and filmed the entry. [...]

The illegal entry could complicate Washington's efforts to coax North Korea back to negotiations aimed at its nuclear disarmament. Park's crossing also comes just months after the country freed two U.S. journalists, who were arrested along the Tumen and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for trespassing and "hostile acts." They were released to former President Bill Clinton on a visit to the isolated country in August. North Korea and the United States do not have diplomatic relations.

Park, from Tucson, Arizona, carried a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il calling for major changes to his totalitarian regime, according to the activist from Pax Koreana.

"Please open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive," said the letter, according to a copy posted on the conservative group's Web site. "Please close down all concentration camps and release all political prisoners today."

North Korea holds some 154,000 political prisoners in six large camps across the country, according South Korean government estimates. The North has long been regarded as having one of the world's worst human rights records, but it denies the existence of prison camps.

The activist said that Park, who he described as not belonging to Pax Koreana, also carried a separate written appeal calling for Kim to immediately step down, noting starvation, torture and deaths in North Korean political prison camps.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2009 6:34 PM
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