The group ran a short event in the Library passage on Tuesday 15 April 2014 to ‘celebrate’ the birthday of Kim Jong-un of North Korea. Not really a celebration of course but to highlight the terrible situation in the camps in that country. People are sent to them for the slightest reason and sometimes they might not know the reason. If a member of their family is arrested, then other family members can be arrested without knowing why.
The worst of the camps are in effect a death sentence. Some do escape but the usual route is via China who often sends them back as they do not wish to upset the status quo.
The Salisbury group wanted to highlight the situation in the camps and asked people to sign a petition which achieved 128 signatures. There is a brief item and a photo in the Salisbury Journal – see the link below. Thanks to Karen for leading on this. We were joined by two members of the Ringwood group and we are grateful for their help and support.
North Korea pops up in the news occasionally and a few weeks ago there was some shelling of an island in the south. There was a story that all men in the north must have the same haircut as Kim Jong-un the current leader. This is probably a rumour although it does appear all male students have to have one. In any event, a hairdresser in London put up a poster with a photo of Kim Jong-un as part of a promotion campaign only to receive a visit from two sinister men from the North Korean Embassy asking them to take the picture down. This made it onto the BBC’s Radio 4 PM programme with a rather bemused proprietor of the salon being interviewed about the visit.
Of course this is to our eyes ludicrous but it does reveal the intense paranoia and sensitivity of the country and its leader to criticism. Many people when asked to sign a petition say it probably isn’t worth it as nothing would ever make a difference. This suggests it might not be a total waste of time.
The Guardian newspaper is commendably taking a wider interest in the affairs of North Korea and has supplied some useful links to sites providing further information about this secretive country.