Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Protest by South Korean Buddhist monk Venerable Pomnyun

Highlights of an interview with South Korean Buddhist monk Venerable Pomnyun

Aren’t the negotiations among North and South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the United States, the so-called six-party talks, going to help the situation?
The six-party talks are only focused on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, and the mass media shows little, if any, interest in [the issue of hunger].

I decided to fast for the following reasons. First, while fasting, I am willing to feel the same pain as North Koreans suffer. Secondly, by fasting, I will not forget about their suffering and will keep seeking ways to help them out. Lastly, I have to pour all of my energy and heart to impress heaven so that under these adverse circumstances a miracle can happen to stop their starvation.

What is the current state of North Koreans’ famine?
Ten million people -- that amounts to the half of North Korea’s population -- suffer from food shortages, and among those 10 million, about 3 million people are in danger of starvation. …Without any urgent measures, it is estimated that 500,000 to 600,000 people will starve to death by September.

What would you tell those who do not want to help North Korea because it develops nuclear weapons programs and launches missiles?
It is North Korean leaders that have developed nuclear weapons programs and missiles. But it is innocent North Korean residents who suffer from starvation.

[National Catholic Reporter]

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