A brief view of North Korea

Blaine Harden / Escape from Camp 14

In November 2011 I went on a tour of the DMZ – the 4 mile wide demilitarized zone which divides North and South Korea.  This is the most heavily fortified border in the world.  It was a surreal and powerful experience to be so close to this repressive regime.

Freedom Bridge
Freedom Bridge
Left foot in S. Korea, Right foot in N. Korea
Left foot in S. Korea, Right foot in N. Korea
And this past Monday I had a tremendous opportunity to eat and dialogue with Blaine Harden  – author of the highly acclaimed book ‘Escape from Camp 14’.  This book is about Shin Dong-hyuk, believed to be the only person who was born in the brutal Camp 14 gulag – to escape and tell his story.
An important and necessary read. Blaine Harden does an amazing job taking a very complicated brutal story and making it understandably and digestible to the masses. He also provides key resources and background data for people that want to learn more.
Blaine Harden / Escape from Camp 14
Blaine Harden / Escape from Camp 14
There truly are few things in existence as brutal and horrific as the gulag / camp system of nK. Modeled after Stalin’s prison camps in Russia – the 3 generations of ‘Great Leaders’ in nK have taken the oppression of people to a new level. With the guiding principle that ‘three generations must pay for the sins against the country’ – entire families are imprisioned for generations.
How can we be this brutal to one another?