Monday, April 3, 2017
Remember When Bill Clinton Assured Us That The North Koreans Would Only Use Nuclear Materials For Power? He Lied!
"Kim Jong Un is a person who did not even hesitate to
kill his uncle and a few weeks ago, even his half-
brother," Thae said. "So, he is a man who can do
anything to remove [anyone in] his way."
Since his defection Thae has been making media appearances and giving talks denouncing North Korea's controlling and often brutal society. For this reason he believes he could be the next victim.
"I am already a marked man," he said. "Kim Jong Un wants to eliminate any person or any country which poses a threat to him. And I think I am really a great threat to him."
Thae was the highest-ranking North Korean official to abandon the regime and enter public life in South Korea since the 1997 defection of Hwang Jang Yop, who was responsible for crafting "Juche" — North Korea's state ideology, which blends elements of Marxism with ultra-nationalism.
He made the decision to switch sides, he said, after his two sons began asking questions about why North Korea did not allow the internet, why there was no proper legal system and why officials were executed without trial.
His sons also complained they were being mocked by their British friends.
"All of my family members were a little bit frightened, you know, on that day," he said of the moment he decided to escape. "But I always told them that we have to try to be as peaceful as possible. We should carry the normal faces and normal feelings so that our plan of defection should not be noticed by anyone in the embassy."
This came at a high price, however. He was able to escape with his wife and children — but he fears his brother and sister in North Korea have been punished for his actions.
"Our freedom here is achieved at the cost of the sacrifice of my family members left in North Korea," he said. "When a defection of my level happens, the North Korean regime usually sends the family members of high officials, defectors, to remote areas or labor camps and, to some extent, even to political prison camps as well."
This fate is not unique. More than 100,000 people are believed to have been detained in North Korea's notorious gulags, where they are subjected to forced labor, torture and executions — treatment the United Nations said was "strikingly similar" to the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
Families are taken away by the country's secret police for arbitrary crimes such as "gossiping" about the state.
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This is all part of the dictatorship's attempt to restrict information reaching North Korean families from the outside world. Most people cannot use the internet or access foreign media — Kim's attempt to maintain the pretense that his country is prosperous and the Western world is failing.
But according to Thae, the mask is slipping. More and more, North Koreans are able to watch South Korean films, giving them a true picture of their far more prosperous neighbor.
"I'm absolutely sure that once North Korean people are educated enough, then they may stand up," according to the former ambassador. "North Korean population now knows well that South Korea is democratic, the society and economy here are very well."
This, Thae said, "has already made the North Korean population not believe what the regime has been teaching and has been brainwashing them."
He added: "I think this is really a great change in people's mind, because they do not believe in the government's propaganda system."
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In this shift may even lie the seeds of fundamental change in North Korea, according to Thae.
"I think that is very important. And once the people do not believe in what the leadership is saying, then there is a great possibility for possible uprising: what happened in Soviet Union, what happened in communist system in Eastern Europe," he said.
"Because when the people in those Eastern European countries knew that the Western Europe were much better than Eastern Europe — the democratic society was much better than communist society and one-party system — all of a sudden people stood up against the system," he added. "These things could also happen in North Korea."
Thae said that he and other defectors can play a crucial part removing Kim.
"Every day I am living in order to accelerate the speed of my return home," he said. "I think defectors like me, we should all unite together to bring down Kim Jong Un's regime."