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Saturday, November 9, 2019

North Korea: The Nightmare Of Living In A Country Without Civil Rights

     What a nightmare it must be to live in a country without a criminal justice system. In North Korea there is no constitution that protects citizens against the power of the state. There is no free press, independent judicial branch, or any form of procedural due process such as the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. In nations without criminal justice systems, leaders eliminate political opponents by criminalizing dissent, or manufacturing crimes against people they fear or don't like.

     In North Korea, citizens accused of breaking the law have the burden of proving their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilt is a forgone conclusion for the criminally accused, and punishment is swift, cruel, and often brutal.

     In October 2012, North Korea's young Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of Kim Chol, the vice minister of the army. Chol was put to death for drinking and carousing around during the official mourning period following the death of the boy leader's father, Kim Jong-il. The once high-ranking military leader who allegedly disrespected Kim Jong-il's death, was not hanged, electrocuted, beheaded, or gunned down by a firing squad. Kim Chol's executioners forced him to stand at a marked spot, aimed a zeroed-in mortor round, then fired a shot that blew him to bits. One second he was there, the next he was not.

     In North Korea, capital punishment prisoners do not linger on death row up to fifteen years while their appellate attorneys and anti-capital punishment advocates try to save their lives. When the time comes to execute them, they are not eased into eternity with a carefully prepared cocktail of drugs. In North Korea there are no last meals, last words or last anything except the condemned person's last breath.

     In 2003, when the Supreme Leader's son Kim Jong-un returned from boarding school in Switzerland, he met and established a relationship with a famous North Korean singer named Hyon-Song-wol. Hyon was a member of the Unhasu Orchestra, the Wangjaesan Light Band, and the Morganbong Band. She had recorded a string of hits that had propagandistic titles like "Footsteps of Soldiers," "I love Pyongyang" (who doesn't?) and "We Are Troops of the Party." (When North Koreans say "party," they're not talking about a fun gathering with friends.)

     The Supreme Leader, who did not approve of Hyon Song-wol, ordered Kim Jong-un to break off the relationship. After Kim Jong-il died in December 2011, his son, the new Supreme Leader, married Ri Sol-ju, also a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra. Hyon, his ex-girlfriend, married an officer in the North Korean military and had a baby. There were rumors, however, that Kim Jong-un continued to see Hyon. The young Supreme Leader's wife reportedly resented her husband's former girlfriend, and wanted her out of Kim Jong-un's life. Permanently.

     On August 17, 2013, North Korean authorities arrested Hyon Song-wol and eleven other entertainers--singers, dancers, and musicians--with the Unhasu Orchestra. Hyon and the others were charged with breaking the nation's laws against pornography. Specifically, they were accused of making and selling videos of themselves performing sex acts. (These charges were patently false and absurd.)

     Just three days after being falsely charged with pornography, Hyon Song-wol and the others were lined up against a wall and machine-gunned to death. After family members were forced to watch the state slaughter their loved ones, they were hauled off to labor camps.

     Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University, an expert on North Korean affairs, told a reporter with England's The Daily Telegraph that Hyon Song-wol and the other entertainers had been executed for "political reasons" related to Kim Jong-un's wife.

1 comment:

  1. who knows maybe Kim Jong-un is bisexual or a closet gay and only married a woman for his nations face

    ReplyDelete