Commentary | North Koreans’ imprisonment more than physical

Re: “The horrors of North Korean prisons” | Features | January 21

Beth Hong and Matthias Heilke’s superb article on atrocities in the North Korean prison system highlights the dangers of complacency about one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Jack Kim from HanVoice contends that humanitarian change for North Korea will not necessarily develop out of diplomacy. Instead, the authors agree with Kim’s assertion that Christian organizations and small businesses operating from within North Korea might strengthen internal reform efforts. While Christian organizations have commendably smuggled North Koreans to South Korea through circuitous Chinese and Southeast Asian routes, such efforts can assist only a small number of North Koreans. Smuggling liberates a few from the omnipresent Kim Jong-il personality cult. Still, many more remain trapped in North Korea’s all-encompassing propaganda system that contributes to the wanton destruction of human dignity and life. The toppling of North Korea must also liberate the North Korean people from their mental imprisonment. I hope that we who enjoy the liberties of a democratic society will no longer accept the inevitability of totalitarianism in North Korea. Rather, I hope that we might work toward the liberation of a long-suffering people.

Jordan ZaremboPhD III Religious Studies