As we go about our daily lives, it’s so easy to forget that there are millions of people living behind what could be analogized to a modern-day iron curtain in North Korea. Yes we could probably conjure up something to say about Kim Jong-il, his son Kim Jong-un or the recent rocket fiasco, but how often do we stop to think about the people–the ordinary everyday citizens–who call North Korea home?
According to Link, a non-profit committed to “redefining the North Korea crisis through creative storytelling, while providing emergency relief to North Korean refugees and pursuing an end to the human rights crisis,” there is a widespread “lack of fundamental freedom” in North Korea. North Koreans are indoctrinated from basically the time they leave their cradles to worship the dictatorial Kim family.
So what if someone decides that they don’t want to worship the Kim family because they disagree with the way the country is being run or because they think Kim Jong-un is a terrible leader? What happens to that thunder shaker? They get thrown into a political concentration camp along with their children and parents. Within these camps, the family is “overworked, tortured, raped or publicly executed.” Their chance of survival is very slim. Three generations punished, for the “crime” of one.
Life outside the camps however, isn’t much better. A famine during the 1990’s severely limited North Korea’s food supply. It is estimated that 33% of the population is malnourished. In addition to controlling the limited food supply, the North Korean government also controls all of the housing, education and healthcare. As a result, there is a constant fear in the heart of the everyday citizen; the fear that one false step will lead to a denial of one of those fundamental necessities or to certain death in a concentration camp.
Link has become a voice of advocacy for the everyday citizen. Through its awareness movements, Link is raising awareness to the injustices that are occurring in North Korea, and advocating for “the people’s” freedom. In addition, Link engages in rescuing and providing shelter to North Korean refugees as well aiding them as they find places new places to resettle and call home.
There is so much more to learn about the North Korean Crisis and the work that Link is doing to combat it. If you are interested in learning more about “the People’s Crisis,” please visit Link’s website by clicking here.