Human Rights Religion The Camps

Ex-N. Korean Special Forces Soldier Alleges Biowar Experiments on Handicapped Kids; North Korea’s Jihad Against Christians

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?


  1. There is no question, Joshua, and the fact that brave survivors such as Soon Ok Le lived to tell us of the unparalled atrocities while no action was taken points to the fact that the real bluff is on us, the US, as to the existence of these institutionalized concentration camps which have been ingrained in NK’s society for generations as preciously guarded “state secrets,” the divulging of which by any member of even the “people’s security” would in itself cause them to to be subjected to lifelong political imprisonment in Kaechen, Hoeryang, or one of the other now consolidated concentration camps. which we unconscionably refuse to acknowledge. Little do the ignorant policy-makers know that the exposure of these very camps with the technology that we have is ultimately calling NK’s bluff – the key to opening NK. Godspeed to you Joshua, for your selfless work in this area and let us hope that the following does not live out to be true: “… only in retrospect will we ask ourselves, why didn’t we do anything….I shudder the day when North Korea is finally opened.”


  2. Well, I know you are in a foul mood, so I won’t be as candid as I would otherwise, but since I’ve returned to Korea and joined your blog community I have been saying that Christianity poses the most dangerous threat to the juche cult. Today’s Chosun ilbo corroborates that view with more defector anecdotes:

    Choi Zoo Hwal is a former North Korean military colonel who defected to South Korea in 1995. He told U.S. lawmakers that few North Koreans dare to oppose the government because they see it as a divine authority. “There is no freedom to choose jobs, the place to live in or the freedom of religion whatsoever in North Korea,” he said. “And North Korean residents have to live under horrendous supervision and control.”

    From the same article:

    Former North Korean prisoner Kim Tae Jin, who spent four years in such a camp before escaping to South Korea in 2001 is now a leading pro-democracy activist. “I am actually a living testimony to the horror and pain they [prisoners] have to go through,” he said. Kim told a congressional hearing in Washington Thursday most political prisoners in North Korea are jailed for having a religion or because family members were accused of crimes. He says that from day one, he and other prisoners got a minimum amount of food and did not have water fit for human consumption. Kim says he only was allowed to drink water dripping from a toilet and had to use the same water to wash his dishes.

    So, it is refreshing to hear you talk about Christianity this way, Mr. Stanton. Dr. Andrei Lankov has already written about Christianity filling the post-Juche vacuum and USFK is planning for contingencies including instability caused by a shaky transfer of power to Kim Jong un.

    Lastly, (sorry for the gratuitous references to past posts on OFK), balloon launchers seem to be the most potent delivery system for the Christian/resistance message according to North Korean defectors – who recommend that the US should back the enterprise:

    The North Korean defectors urged the U.S. to back a South Korean group that sends leaflets into the North by balloon calling for the ouster of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il.

    South Korea’s government has appealed to the activists to stop, saying the leaflets have inflamed relations with Pyongyang. But Seoul says it cannot ban the campaign.

    I’m not a lawyer do I don’t require the kind of evidence that you do, sir in formulating my analysis. But I do think it is progress for all concerned to start looking at the religious, spiritual, social and cultural impact of regime failure and what forces and dynamics will be shaping the post-Juche NK situation. South Korea’s 176 missionary-sending agencies will certainly be in the thick of things.



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