“An excellent account of the “underground railroad” that, since 1996, is helping North Koreans escape from their tyrannical government, most of whom are Christian. Approximately 24,000 have escaped, and this work chronicles how they did it. They certainly don’t get any help from China, which labels them “economic migrants,” in violation of international agreements, and repatriates them to a sure gulag and death back in North Korea. Many North Koreans observed that Chinese dogs ate better than North Korean humans. Nearly three-fourths of the escapees are female. From sex slaves sold in China to slave labor camps in Russia where North Koreans are loggers, this book details the harrowing experience of folks voting with their feet. Once they do reach South Korea, they attend a three-month training program at “Hanawon” (“one country” or “house of unity”), where they are taught how to live under freedom.
The author points out that Tibet has Richard Gere as spokesman, but no actor speaks out on behalf of the people in North Korea. And as happened in the former Soviet Union, jokes are made about the ruthlessness of the regime, such as this one:
Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin are having a summit meeting in Moscow. During a break, they’re bored, and they decide to take a bet to see whose bodyguards are more loyal. Putin calls his bodyguard Ivan, opens the window of their twentieth-floor meeting room, and says: “Ivan, jump!” Sobbing, Ivan says: “Mr. President, how can you ask me to do that? I have a wife and child waiting for me at home.” Putin sheds a tear himself, apologizes to Ivan, and sends him away. Next, it’s Kim Jong Il’s turn. He calls his bodyguard Lee Myung-man and yells: “Lee Myung-man, jump!” Not hesitating for a second, Lee Myung-man is just about to jump out the window when Putin grabs him and says: “Are you out of your mind? If you jump out this window, you’ll die! This is the twentieth floor!” Lee Myung-man tries to escape Putin’s embrace and jump out the window: “President Putin, please let me go! I have a wife and child waiting for me at home!”
The author suggests brining the underground railroad above ground, where China becomes merely a way station where the escapees are processed and sent on their way. It’s a nice idea, and the author at the beginning of the book quotes Edmund Burke: “Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.” This solution assumes that China’s Communist Party if full of good men. A worthwhile and actually inspiring read. The fact that Christians are helping out complete strangers, at the risk of their own lives, shows the lengths man will go to help their fellow man.