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August 21, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Freedom for North Koreans

Letter to the Editor: Freedom for North Koreans

"Let the North Koreans go free!" This simple and yet powerful cry brings to attention the injustices that persist even today. For over three generations, the North Korean people have struggled and labored under the Stalinist dictatorship of the Kim-family regime. These people have been oppressed physically and psychologically and have been devoid of the most basic human rights: life, liberty, and conscience.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." North Koreans are silently suffering against malnutrition and starvation daily. With limited hospitals, medicines, clean water, food, sanitation, and equipment, illnesses, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, dyspepsia, appendicitis, and injuries to lower extremity, are prominent and often lead to premature death. For this reason, many North Koreans look beyond their country's borders in hopes of a better life.

On July 9-12, 2012, I, and other youth from different states across the nation, advocated for North Korean freedom, calling upon U.S. representatives to support the North Korean Refugee/Orphan Adoption Act of 2011, the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act, and the House Congress Resolution 109.

The North Korean Refugee/Orphan Adoption Act of 2011 develops a strategy to assist stateless refugee children from North Korean. It helps families in the United States, and international adoption agencies, to adopt North Korean children who have lost or destroyed documentations. Thousands of North Korean children are threatened with starvation and disease daily. In addition, the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act promotes human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and refugee protection. It urges the US government in cooperation with foreign governments to allow the resettlement of North Korean refugees in the United States, radio broadcast in North Korea, and continue to support humanitarian assistance and human rights. House Congress Resolution 109 expresses that China should not repatriate North Korean refugees detained in China, but rather allow their resettlement in South Korea and other willing countries.

It is for these two acts and one resolution that I and other supporting youth from across the nation went to Washington D.C. to be the voice for the voiceless North Koreans. They need our help and our support.

Kara Yi

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