The accuser, Im Chun-Yong, escaped from North Korea with several comrades in his unit a decade ago. That alone should tell you something about the state of morale in North Korea’s most elite forces even then. Im claims that he kept this story to himself until now:
“If you are born mentally or physically deficient, says Im, the government says your best contribution to society”¦ is as a guinea pig for biological and chemical weapons testing.” [….]
The former military captain says it was in the early 1990s, that he watched his then commander wrestle with giving up his 12-year-old daughter who was mentally ill. The commander, he says, initially resisted, but after mounting pressure from his military superiors, he gave in. Im watched as the girl was taken away. She was never seen again.
One of Im’s own men later gave him an eyewitness account of human-testing. Asked to guard a secret facility on an island off North Korea’s west coast, Im says the soldier saw a number of people forced into a glass chamber.
“Poisonous gas was injected in,” Im says. “He watched doctors time how long it took for them to die.” [Al Jazeera]
Words fail me when I read things like this. There’s nothing I can add to the horror of it, and yet I have no way of drawing a firm conclusion about its accuracy. For one thing, this isn’t coming from the most reputable news service. For another, I’ve caught enough inconsistencies in at least one similar report that I can’t conclude that it’s true without some corroboration. Yet there have been multiple reports of this kind, and there is evidence and corroboration to support the regime’s commission of equal and greater evils. It’s within the radius of what the North Korean regime is capable of, but then, what isn’t?
There’s little question that this regime is capable of this sort of depraved cruelty, but I can’t presume that this report is accurate because the regime reaps the advantage of the reasonable doubts it creates through exceptional secrecy. All I can do is wring my hands and say, “demands further investigation,” even knowing that the complicit Ban Ki Moon and our complicit State Department certainly won’t demand it.
There’s less reason to question reports that North Korea is embarked on an anti-Christian jihad, publicly executing those who would put other gods before His Withering Majesty. We’ve heard recent reports of hundreds (if not thousands) of public executions in North Korea, we’ve seen smuggled video of at least one such execution, and there is plenty of evidence that North Korea imprisons, tortures, and executes people for believing in or propogating Christianity. The regime is correct that Christianity represents an existential threat to the system. Christianity is the only ideology with the potential to spread, inspire loyalty, collect intelligence, and ultimately, to become the essential ideological foundation without which a resistance movement cannot establish itself.
Sadly, the civilized world has lost its sense of this very hard fact — there are some problems that no drum circle can solve. Can there be any question that if North Korea is to become a less barbaric place, that the regime must be overthrown violently?