My wife and I frequently watch documentaries. Some of them are boring, some exciting, and some are extremely informative.
One such informative documentary we viewed is “National Geographic: Inside North Korea”.
North Korea is a country we know little about. The film provides a rare glimpse inside the lives of North Korean Citizens. What spoke to me loudest is the absolute lack of freedoms, and the tight grasp the government maintains on it’s citizens through fear and intimidation. One story portrayed in the documentary is that of a rare North Korean defector. Like drug cartell’s and ruthless gangs, the government maintains absolute control by punishing not just those who cross them but punishing their family and friends as well.
Like Nazi Germany, North Korea has many “Work Camps” where “political prisoners” are held and worked to death.
The film also evidences the god-like reverence the people hold for their leader (at the time Kim Jong Il)
I believe the key to change is not the top-down approaches of regime change, and military action; Rather I believe the key is a balanced approach that includes motivating the people people to change. One way is to provide a clear vision of what they want. How can someone desire something they haven’t tasted. Freedom is as foreign to them as beautiful warm sunny days on a beach in the pacific are to Eskimos. If the average North Korean doesn’t know what life is like free from tyranical oppression how can anyone expect them to be ill-content with their current conditions and desire a change. Allowing them to import telecommunications equipment could provide them with a much needed taste of the freedoms much of the world enjoys and they do not.
Another is to proliferate the same taste of freedom through print. Easily concealable pamphlets that contain the greatest freedom inspiring words ever written could be scattered across the country. As well as subtle thought provoking questions about their current leadership.
Conditions in North Korea will likely not improve overnight without some dire intervention; However we can begin to plant the seeds of change in the hearts of the people now.