Standing Up for the Helpless

  1. Standing Up for the Helpless
    Chuck Colson

    December 20, 2004


    Concentration camps, imprisonment and execution without trial, government-induced starvation, religious persecution--they all bring to mind the horrors of Nazi Germany. But these atrocities aren't safely behind us. They're taking place today--in North Korea.

    As human-rights activists Kristin Wright and Rosemary Schindler have written,

    During the last several years, an estimated 4 million people have died of government-induced starvation in North Korea. An additional 400,000 men, women, and children have perished in modern-day concentration camps where brutal medical experimentation, public executions, and gas chambers are commonplace. Thousands more are still imprisoned.

    Dr. Norbert Vollertsen, a German physician who has worked in North Korea, described his experiences in a BreakPoint interview. He watched children dying of starvation and doctors trying to treat patients without supplies. The people, he said, "were stunned; they were emotionally stunned. All those children, they can't laugh anymore. They can't cry anymore. There is no more emotional reaction because they are depressed. That was my main medical diagnosis. All those people in North Korea are depressed. They are full of fear."

    This is why it is such great news that Congress passed and the president signed legislation addressing the North Korean human rights problem. The North Korea Human Rights Act, which we in the Wilberforce Forum aggressively worked for, will authorize U.S. funding to provide aid to North Koreans and to human rights organizations working in the country. Wright and Schindler add that the bill's provisions include "transparency in the delivery of humanitarian aid, increased funding to protect vulnerable North Korean refugees, and expansion of Radio Free Asia broadcasting."

    In short, the authors write, the North Korea Human Rights Act will "make human rights a priority in future negotiations with North Korea, while providing incentives to the regime to improve conditions in their country."

    As the Washington Post editorialized before the bill passed the Senate:

    There have been some signs that North Korea, long held to be impervious to outside pressure, could be more vulnerable than was thought. A North Korean official recently agreed in principle to allow the British Foreign Office minister responsible for human rights to visit the country--and the British official is, he says, pushing for 'unfettered access' to North Korea's notorious prison camps.

    The success of the North Korea Human Rights Act is a tribute to the compassion and persistence of evangelical and Jewish groups who pushed hard to get it passed. Human rights activist Michael Horowitz told Christianity Today, "It was the evangelical passion in the Wilberforce spirit that was the powerful animating force, the energizing force, around this issue. And once again, teaming very particularly with some key representatives in the Jewish community that was ultimately an irresistible combination."

    There are so many human-rights crises going on around the world that sometimes it's overwhelming. We can easily get the feeling that there's nothing much we can do to help the oppressed. But this new law proves that isn't true; prayer and action really can make a difference. We need to let this victory inspire us to even greater efforts to defend the rights of the persecuted.
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/c...20041220.shtml

    This is ridiculous..why are we spending money to defend the rights of those who are persecuted? It's not our problem. IMO When will the US ever stay out of every crisis ! ugh.. Haven't we learned anything from Iraq? Next we'll be sending troops to Korea and the Terrorists will follow us there. :uhoh21:
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  2. 66 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Yeah, it's the US I feel sorry for when I read an article like that....
  4. by   Mkue
    I don't feel sorry for anyone, why should the US stick their nose into N. Koreas problems? There must be some kind of motive.

    This is why it is such great news that Congress passed and the president signed legislation addressing the North Korean human rights problem. The North Korea Human Rights Act, which we in the Wilberforce Forum aggressively worked for, will authorize U.S. funding to provide aid to North Koreans and to human rights organizations working in the country.
    We have a huge deficit here in the US, we are spending billions in Iraq and now we're funding human rights organizations in N. Korea. Legislation passed by Congress.
  5. by   Tweety
    Marie, I'm amazed you are so supportive of spending billions in Iraq considering your feelings about noninvolvement in other places around the world.

    I'm not sure what we can do about government induced starvation but I'd much rather see our efforts be spent feeding people than killing them.

    Our concern with North Korea, besides starvation, stems from the fact there are about 20,000 American troops on their border and the treaty we have with South Korea.
  6. by   Mkue
    North Korea threatens to strengthen deterrent against US(AFP)

    20 December 2004

    SEOUL - North Korea, which says it deserves nuclear weapons for self-defence, vowed Monday to strengthen its deterrent if the United States holds on to a "hostile" policy on the communist country.


    A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman condemned the recent US legislation of a human rights law on North Korea as part of the US policy to bring down the communist regime.

    Stalinist North Korea has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its allies for years over its nuclear weapons drive. Negotiations are deadlocked.

    "If the United States... pursues its hostile policy to isolate and stifle (North Korea) under the pretext of the "nuclear issue' and "human rights issue'... the latter will react to it by further increasing its self-defensive deterrent force," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

    "It is deplorable for the US to style itself an international 'judge of human rights,' unaware of its position. By nature the US is the worst human rights graveyard in the world."

    The United States passed a law in October to "help promote human rights and freedom" in North Korea, according to a White House statement at the time. Pyongyang said the legislation aimed to topple the communist leadership.

    Washington denies seeking to bring down the reclusive Pyongyang regime.

    North Korea has been under growing pressure to return to multilateral negotiations on curbing its nuclear weapons drive.

    The two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States have held three rounds of talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions since the standoff erupted in October 2002.

    North Korea boycotted a fourth round of the talks scheduled for Beijing in September, citing what it called the hostile US policy and other issues.

    China, North Korea's closest ally, has been trying to re-start the talks.

    Rodong Sinmun, a newspaper published by North Korea's ruling communist party, on Monday called for unity and consolidation under leader Kim Jong-Il in a renewed pledge to strengthen the country's armed forces.

    "It is... necessary to continue to strengthen the People's Army, the driving force of the Songun (army-led) revolution," Rodong said in an editorial carried by KCNA.
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayA...ction=theworld

    According to this article N. Korea doesn't want the US involved..accuses US of trying to bring down Regime.. does that sound familiar? N. Korea wants WMD for self defense..de ja vu.. Iraq all over again.. more troops killed..when will it end? Haven't we learned anything from Iraq?
  7. by   Mkue
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Marie, I'm amazed you are so supportive of spending billions in Iraq considering your feelings about noninvolvement in other places around the world.

    I'm not sure what we can do about government induced starvation but I'd much rather see our efforts be spent feeding people than killing them.

    Our concern with North Korea, besides starvation, stems from the fact there are about 20,000 American troops on their border and the treaty we have with South Korea.
    Saddam's ppl were starving also.. rape room, mass graves.. many ppl didn't care about that.. why should we care about N. Korea? N. Korea doesn't want us there..some say Iraqi's don't want us in Iraq.. why don't we leave other countries alone?
  8. by   Tweety
    Quote from Tigerlily
    ...... why don't we leave other countries alone?

    You're right, as a rule we haven't done a whole lot for starving and dying people. Look at Africa for instance.

    Why don't we leave other countries alone? My guess is it's about power and money. Many countries around the world are our customers, buying our products and we need them strong and democratic so they will continue to do so. Other countries have borrowed money from the US and we need them strong and democratic to pay us back.
  9. by   Mkue
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Our concern with North Korea, besides starvation, stems from the fact there are about 20,000 American troops on their border and the treaty we have with South Korea.
    Yeah, well tweety..I'm really ticked that many of our troops have been killed by Terrorists in Iraq and I don't wany any other troops killed for the freedom of others.
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from Tigerlily
    Yeah, well tweety..I'm really ticked that many of our troops have been killed by Terrorists in Iraq and I don't wany any other troops killed for the freedom of others.

    Too bad we didn't learn our lesson in Korea the first time, or Vietnam.
  11. by   Mkue
    "It is deplorable for the US to style itself an international 'judge of human rights,' unaware of its position. By nature the US is the worst human rights graveyard in the world."
    hmmm.. interesting.. doesn't sound like N. Korea is a fan of the US..I don't foresee a welcome party in the near future.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Tigerlily
    hmmm.. interesting.. doesn't sound like N. Korea is a fan of the US..I don't foresee a welcome party in the near future.

    As they've been staring us down at their border with South Korea for over 50 years, I doubt it.
  13. by   fergus51
    Marie, I honestly can't tell if you really believe the things you are writing here because I can't imagine anyone who does. I can't imagine you really don't see a difference between giving humanitarian aid to starving people and invading.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from fergus51
    Marie, I honestly can't tell if you really believe the things you are writing here because I can't imagine anyone who does. I can't imagine you really don't see a difference between giving humanitarian aid to starving people and invading.
    I was wondering the same thing...my head is spinning ....care to clarify Marie? I am rather unsure where you stand right now.

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