The Catholic University of America



CUA Law Student Group Draws Attention to Plight of North Korea


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By any measure, North Korea is among the most repressive, cruel, and controlled nations on earth. An estimated 80-to-100 thousand of its citizens are confined in state run camps for minor or imaginary transgressions against its rulers, where many are beaten, tortured, or killed. More than one million North Koreans have starved to death since the country’s formation in the 1950s. 

Catholic University’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association provided a forum on March 17 for a discussion of the situation in the notorious regime. The student group invited speakers from California-based Liberty in North Korea (LINK) to provide a picture of what is happening within the country’s borders today.
A young woman named Arial handled most of the presentation, citing a recent study that indicted North Korea for “crimes without parallel anywhere in the world.”
Supported by sympathetic donors, approximately 200 North Korean refugees have managed to escape its borders in the past five years. A larger population of expatriates remain in hiding in China, an arrangement that LINK compares to “a 3,000 mile modern day underground railroad.”
Despite the best efforts of its rulers to cut the nation’s population completely off from the outside world, news from free societies is smuggled in to citizens starved for something more than government produced propaganda. According to escapees, thumb drives and other small electronic devices containing foreign information do discretely reach North Koreans, who avidly consume the contents.
“The flow of outside information into North Korea holds the regime accountable,” said Arial.
No one predicts a lifting of the yoke on North Korea anytime soon. But Arial and her fellow activist scent change in the air, albeit gradually. The goal, she says, is still “liberty in our lifetime.”