Dec 26, 2009

Missionary Puts Faith and Life on the Line in North Korea

Robert Park, a 28-year-old Korean-American, crossed the border into North Korea from China on Christmas day, 2009. He brought a message to Kim Jong Il asking him to release the tens of thousands of political prisoners, many, if not most of whom are Christians, to shut down the concentration camps, and for the leader to step down from power.

Park carried a letter to Kim. The letter called on Kim Jong to release prisoners and change the government. As Park crossed the border, he said, in perfect Korean: "I am an American citizen. I brought God's love. God loves you and God bless you," Several activists associated with the Seoul-based group Pax Koreana, which promotes human rights in the North (of which Park is a member), watched and filmed the entry. Pax Koreana plans to release the footage Sunday in Seoul.

Pax Koreana posted a copy of the letter on its website. Part of it said: "Please open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive.Please close down all concentration camps and release all political prisoners today."

One activist said  Park also carried a separate written appeal calling for Kim to immediately step down, highlighting the starvations, torture and deaths in the North Korean political prison camps maintained by Jong. The second letter was addressed to the leaders of South Korea, China, the U.S., Japan and the United Nations.

We ought all pay honor to this brave man, and we ought all to pray for him. Few will place themselves in harm's way in the manner in which he has done. Pray for him.

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