Crossing the Rubicon: Smuggling Out of North Korea and Back

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 20:55 PM
June 15, 2013

Save-starving-North-Koreans        Ahh, failures of Communism:  1)  Generations behind the modern world, the Cuban people have no way of escape; 2) Russia fakes democratic elections to the same dictator keeps power; 3) China breeds unimaginable crime in every area of life from food production to internet hacking, and maintains the largest killer army in the world; and 4) In North Korea, everyone just wants to get out!

Even in North Korea’s police state, its borders are not as sealed as its rulers claim. Not only are thriving drug and other contraband business crossing them, other smugglers cross those borders from other countries to get North Koreans out.

Although they risk five years in prison or death if caught, some 3,000 North Koreans make it to the South every year.  In ‘Shadowy World of Korea’s People Smugglers,’ Lucy Williamson, of BBC News,  tells the story of South Korean Mrs. Kwon who runs a business getting people out of North Korea:

“She charges thousands of dollars to send people on one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.” Other brokers cost $ 5,500 for the total trip from North Korea to China, then to South Korea.  Chon Gi-wan,  South Korean pastor of Durihana Church in Seoul, also helps North Koreans cross over the border into China, and eventually into South Korea.  Most of them then attend his church.

Ann Shin writes in ‘Escape From North Korea:’ “I profile a smuggler named Dragon, who charges North Korean defectors for guiding them through China and Southeast Asia into eventual asylum and safety in South Korea.”

Yet she says: “Tens of thousands of North Korean defectors live secretly in China and Southeast Asia. They fear running-from-North-Koreadeportation back to their country—concerns reinforced last month when nine young North Koreans, from ages 15 to 23, were turned back by Laos, then repatriated to North Korea by China.”

Justin McCurry of, writes in ‘UN Extremely Concerned For Repatriated North Korean Defectors’ that such repatriation is against against international law:  “The body has asked North Korea to grant independent observers access to the defectors and to guarantee they will not face retribution.”

Christians who live in the United States, should pray, and otherwise support, for pastors like Chon Gi-wan, and the escaped North Koreans in their churches.

His story should encourage pastors here to do more to gather the ‘lost’ into their folds.  As Bible inspired writing assures:  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, . . . (2 Corinthians 5: 10).”  Hmmm. Wonder who gets greater reward, pastors who risk life and money to free people from godless Communism, or pastors who don’t sacrifice very much to reach the lost for The LORD Jesus Christ.

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