I recently watched the National Geographic Documentary Inside North Korea. The show follows an optometric surgeon who has been granted rare access to the most secretive country on the planet. Nat Geo's own Lisa Ling and her film team pose as helpers to the medical team.
I have a special fondness for the Korean people. For years I've studied Korean Martial arts and I have gained insight an interest about Korea through the pursuit of their fighting skills. Korea is situated between China and Japan and throughout history has proven to be a melting pot of the two cultures. Nowhere is this more evident than in Korean Martial arts. In spite of foreign influences the Koreans have managed to carve out a cultural identity that is all their own.
South Korea is well known but North Korea is a real mystery, even to its neighbors. Getting to see this rare glimpse on the other side of the fence is quite shocking. It seems an entire nation that has through fear and absolute poverty been brainwashed by Kim Jong-Il. The show highlights just how deeply rooted this idolatry is in the North Korean Culture.
In ten days the surgeon was able to restore sight to over 1,000 North Koreans and after being able to see the first thing they did was kneel and praise an image of Kim Jong-Il.
The conditions in that country are deplorable. Medical Care is nonexistent, food is rare, and people live in abject fear even within their own homes. North Korea is not the third world. The country has a massive million man army and a nuclear arsenal. Despite what it has militarily it's people live in depravity.
Frankly it breaks my heart to see such a noble people completely repressed and deluded in this way. I don't know what the future holds for North Korea but it is clear to me that this situation is a blight on mankind. It's an offense to all freedom loving peoples and cultures. As an American it's easy to pass judgment on North Korea as an evil regime worthy of destruction. I hope that in time we will remember that the Korean people are ultimately victims of the their communists oppressors. The North Koreans hate us because that is all their culture and government have taught them about us.
The Soviet Union fell under the economic weight of itself. One hopes that eventually Communist North Korea will fall as well. It is certainly on the ropes. My hope for North Korea comes from South Korea. South Korea fought alongside us in the Korean war and they still stand side by side with American soldiers every day guarding the line. This author hopes that someday when Kim Jong-Il's evil regime falls and the communists throw in the towel that North Koreans will reunite with family in South Korea and the South Koreans will show them the joys of freedom and that America isn't the demon they have been lead to believe.