Colin Kaepernick and the North Korean Soldier’s Harrowing Escape
On Thanksgiving we stuffed ourselves with turkey and carbs.
Whatever you did, I’m willing to bet your day was less eventful than that of a North Korean soldier who made the mad dash to freedom. In what looked like a scene from a Hollywood spy thriller, a young North Korean soldier changed his life forever.
CNN reported on one North Korean soldier’s sprint across the DMZ:
Dramatic video showing a North Korean soldier fleeing across the border into South Korea while being shot at by his former comrades was released by the United Nations Command Wednesday.
The video’s release marks the first time the American-led UN Command has disclosed security footage of a defection across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea, said Hochong Song, a public affairs officer for US Forces Korea.
This New York Times narrated video details the North Korean defector’s escape into South Korea.
The video shows pursuing North Korean soldiers shooting at the man, as they briefly crossed into the DMZ. This may be a violation of international law, according to the U.N.
The Price For Freedom
Shot several times, the man lost half of his blood. Also, he was extremely malnourished, and doctors found at least 3 parasites inside intestinal system. It’s amazing this man was able to crawl to freedom much less run.
His tenacity proves how much the human spirit longs for freedom. Moreover, what of the commitment to freedom of the South Korean and U.S. soldiers who pulled the man to safety, then was rushed to a nearby hospital.
The Washington Post provides the details:
Three American and three South Korean soldiers were recognized by senior military leaders Thursday for their roles in rescuing a North Korean defector who was shot multiple times while fleeing the country last week.
The man made it to the South Korean side of the border before he collapsed from his wounds and was dragged to safety by U.S. and South Korean personnel.
“You were all in the range of North Korean fire,” Gen. Kim Byeong-joo, deputy commander of the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command, told the troops during a ceremony at Camp Bonifas. “It was a precarious situation . . . [and] a showcase of great leadership.”
The dramatic scene, which unfolded shortly before 4 p.m. on Nov. 13, occurred as tension among the three countries has soared in recent months, with the threat of conflict being driven by the often volatile exchanges between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Hit at least five times, he collapsed on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area, the only place where North and South Korean soldiers directly face each other. Two soldiers from the joint command then crawled out to the man, while others in the unit monitored the situation.
This story certainly makes you wonder how Otto Warmbier was treated.
Warmbier was the student whose frat boy prank landed him in a North Korean prison for the better part of a year. President Trump secured his release back the United States where he died due to brain trauma at the hands of the North Koreans.
Needless to say, North Korea is not Utopia.
The fleeing soldier had even more grave medical concerns. As CBS reports:
South Korean trauma surgeon Lee Cook-Jong operated on the soldier and says he found dozens of parasitic worms in his digestive tract, as well as uncooked corn; a sign of malnutrition.
The soldier is 24-years old, but at just 5 feet 5 inches and weighing 132 pounds, he is significantly smaller than an average 18-year-old in South Korea. Doctors have reportedly diagnosed him with tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.
After that harrowing Jason Bourne-like escape to freedom, the soldier’s one nightmare is being returned to the North Korean regime.
The defector will have lifelong scars from injuries sustained during his escape, including damage to his colon, which was shredded by a bullet and had to be repaired in seven places.
He may be on the road to recovery, but a North Korean defector is still tormented by nightmares of being shipped back to the cruel regime, his doctor said.
The same cannot be said for the border guards that allowed him to escape across the border.
Even though Pyongyang has not commented on the incident, it is safe to assume the Communist Party leadership is not happy. And according to Reuters, the regular North Korean border guards have all been ‘replaced’:
North Korea has reportedly replaced guards and fortified a section of its border with South Korea where a North Korean soldier defected last week, while South Korean and U.S. soldiers have been decorated for their role in the defector’s rescue.
A group of senior diplomats based in Seoul visited the Joint Security Area (JSA) on Wednesday morning where they saw five North Korean workers digging a deep trench in the area where the soldier had dashed across the line after getting his jeep stuck in a small ditch, a member of the diplomatic delegation told Reuters on Friday.
North Korean workers could be seen using shovels to dig a deep trench on the North Korean side of the line as soldiers stood guard. Two new trees had also been planted in the small space between the ditch and the line with the South in an apparent effort to make it more difficult for would-be defectors to drive across the ground. Photos taken by (Acting) U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, Marc Knapper and other diplomats of soldiers guarding the area where workers were digging the trench showed them dressed in slightly different uniforms to the ones usually worn by North Korea’s JSA guards.
Failure is not tolerated. Thus, a public embarrassment on this global of a scale, means one thing: prison.
We are not talking San Quentin or Leavenworth. When considering North Korean prisons, think Auschwitz. Except there exists no General Patton riding atop a tank to the rescue.
One can only imagine the hell that awaits those guards and their families.
The UK Mirror pulls the curtain back on North Korean prison life:
One camp – Hoeryong concentration camp – known as “Camp 22” closed in 2012 after a warder defected but extreme human rights violations including routine torture, forced labour and human medical experiments had previously been reported.
Families of inmates are viewed as guilty by association and so who generations are sent to camps.
Deprived of food, they are forced to eat rats and frogs to survive housed in cramped cells infested with lice. Regular beatings and potentially fatal torture are the norm. Then there is the hard labour, which includes pulling ploughs across fields for 12 hours a day.
An estimated 200,000 victims of Kim Jong-un’s despotic rule are thought to be living lives of utter wretchedness in his internment camps at any one time.
The camps are patrolled by guards equipped with automatic rifles, hand grenades and trained dogs.
Prisoners are routinely deprived of water and food torture includes ‘sleep deprivation, beatings with iron rods or sticks, kicking and slapping, and enforced sitting or standing for hours’, is routine,
Inmates are allowed just one set of clothes they live and die in rags without soap, socks, underclothes or sanitary napkins.”
Lastly, for the so-called faux ‘American Citizen of the Year’, Colin Kaepernick and his ilk I have this message.
I’m willing to bet that North Korean soldier would happily exchange places with Kaepernick or any other “oppressed” multi-millionaire professional athletes. Because none of these people will fight as hard to leave freedom as that man fought to obtain it.