Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Nature mourns' N Korea leader"

BBC News - Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader:

'via Blog this'

What's truly scary in life? Living in a place where mourning for national leaders is mandatory.

Personally, I'm happy to see the 'Dear Leader' exit stage left much the same way I feel that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot leaving this life helped to improve the world. The year I spent not far from the Intra-Korean DMZ came at the tail end of the great famine on the other side of the border. Conditions in the North were so dire that during those twelve months some 400+ North Korean citizens defected across one of the most heavily mined military frontiers on the planet.

For all of those fortunates who made the crossing there were many who died along the way. Some were killed by mines or natural hazards; others shot by their own nation's military. Then there was those who fled into north China where they faced uncertain futures hunted by the Chinese police and haunted by the prospect of forcible repatriation to their homeland and interment in one of their country's many gulags.

A terrifying possibility that hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees continue to face.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

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