Around the world, many wondered whether the disappearance of Kim Jong Un from public view meant that a regime change had occurred in North Korea. This fascination with the unknown typifies the lack of information that we have from Pyongyang. But in some areas we truly do know what the world’s most repressive regime is doing – and that is frightening enough.
From my time in the United Nations enforcing sanctions against North Korea, I know that their regime poses a serious threat to international peace and security. This threat goes beyond their testing of nuclear weapons and their development of missile technology designed to hold the civilian populations of other countries hostage to nuclear blackmail.
I know the North Korean regime has a history of partnering with rogue nations whose leaders threaten international peace and deny the fundamental freedoms of their own citizens. It is not an accident that North Korean weapons and personnel often turn up behind the scenes of some of the world’s greatest atrocities and wars and in the most unstable areas of the world.
I also know that North Korea has an extensive concentration camp system that is designed to eliminate entire families – men, women and children – through starvation, torture and extermination. Nearly 70 years ago, the world pulled back the curtain at Nuremberg on the most heinous crimes in modern history and swore that they would never happen again. But a slow-motion massacre, a continuing crime against humanity, has been underway in North Korea for most of the last half century.
Finally, I know that isolated, unpopular and murderous regimes are all doomed to fail – and it cannot happen quickly enough for those threatened by their nuclear weapons or trapped for generations in the living hell of their gulags.
For all of these reasons, I know that it is imperative to alert everyone who cares about human rights to the waking nightmare that is the North Korean regime.
That is why I am proud to serve as a board member of Human Liberty.