Tuesday, December 20, 2011
UN Watch releases for the first time, testimony from Ma Young-Ae, an escapee from North Korea.
The human rights situation in North Korea is unspeakable. The United States and the Republic of Korea cannot even imagine what is going on there: unthinkable things. There is no hope for improvement unless Kim Jong-il’s government is destroyed.
We thought human rights might be restored following the death of Kim Il-sung in 1994. But many have died since his son, Kim Jong-il, took power. I have lost my husband, who stayed behind. After I escaped in 2000, the North Korean government learned I was working for the cause of human rights in North Korea. Pak Kil-yon, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN at the time, informed the North Korean government about me in June 2003. By Kim Jong-il’s order, my husband was publicly executed the following October.
I think about my loving husband every day. So I brought my loving son to New York and demonstrated outside North Korea’s UN mission. I shouted, “Bring my loving husband back!”
My son shouted, “Bring my loving father back, whom you publicly executed!”
I went there many times with my son and demonstrated peacefully, but the North Korean government did not respond. Then, in March 2010, in front of the North Korean mission to the UN, a person accompanying Sin Son Ho, the current North Korean ambassador, threatened my life, saying that he was going to kill me.
Many people are suffering in North Korea’s gulags. Hunger is the “political” reason they are there. They want freedom. All they’re asking is, “Give us some food.” Many millions of hungry people are sent to prison camps, where they live worse than animals. This is Kim Jong-il’s regime.
More than 3.5 million souls have perished from hunger, and I yearn for them. While they could not escape, more than 300,000 refugees are spread across Southeast Asia. But now the Chinese government is arresting North Korean refugees who escape because of hunger. These refugees are suffering in Chinese prisons.