An orphan who was previously forced to work in a North Korea labor camp has relayed his treacherous experience, saying that he was "treated like an animal" and therefore resorted to "no thinking … just fear."
Hyuk Kim was arrested by the North Korean government at the age of 16 after trying to go into China in search of food. The young, homeless orphan was then sentenced to three years at one of the country's most unrelenting labor camps, known as Jungeori Labor Camp, where Kim says he was treated "like an animal" and didn't even dare dream of his escape.
"At Jungeori, there was no sense of being human; if you thought you were a human being, you couldn't live there," said the now 33-year-old, who was freed from the camp in 2001 after eight months of imprisonment. "You were like an animal. You do the hard labor you were ordered to do, that's it. No thinking. No free will. Just fear." more >>
With reports of extreme persecution and human rights abuses in North Korea, including a recent 400 page report by the U.N. exposing "unspeakable atrocities," Christians are wondering whether God has abandoned the country.
"Is God at work in North Korea? Because we don't see it," some have told Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group. The organization has listed North Korea as the most oppressive country in the world for Christians on its World Watch List for the past 12 years in a row now, and despite constant prayers for change, the situation only seems to be getting worse.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK said in its extensive report on Monday, which is to be formally presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17, that "the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." more >>
An extensive U.N. report released on Monday has detailed some of the "unspeakable atrocities" being committed in North Korea, including mass starvation and extermination, while leader Kim Jong Un spends money lavishly on private movie theaters and luxury cars.
"The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," said the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK in the report.
Close to 400 pages of linked reports, supporting documents and first-hand testimonies from victims and witnesses have revealed the extent of the crimes being committed in the Pacific nation, which include "extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation." more >>
A group of Korean Christians are planning to build a "peace center" for a Christian community in Pakistan that was hit by a terrorist attack last year.
Last month, a delegation of Korean church leaders visited the Anglican Diocese of Peshawar at the request of Bishop Humphrey Peters. During the visitation, the delegation, which included Dr. Myoung Hyuk Kim, chairman of the Korean Evangelical Fellowship, and the Rev. Dong-Hwi Lee, senior pastor of the Tin Church, announced plans for a peace center.
Kenneth Bae, an imprisoned American Christian sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, has been moved from a hospital to a labor camp amid "grave concerns" about his health, according to the U.S. State Department.
"The Department of State has learned that the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] transferred Mr. Bae from a hospital to a labor camp, a development with which we are deeply concerned," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday.
She said Swedish diplomats met with Bae on Friday in a labor camp, weeks after the Christian was moved there on Jan. 20. Bae was sent to the hospital on Aug. 5 last year. more >>
The sons of Martin Luther King Jr., acting as representatives of his estate, are suing their sister so that she will hand over the civil rights leader's Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal, which she says her brothers want to sell.
Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, said during a press conference Thursday that her brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, want to sell the Bible and medal despite her belief that her father would not have wanted them to do so, according to video posted to the USA Today website.
"I take this strong position for my father, because daddy is not here to say himself, 'My Bible and my medals are never to be sold,'" she said. more >>