Saturday, April 18, 2009

North Korean defectors racked by guilt

North Korea stakes everything on developing nuclear weapons and missiles while continuing to ignore its starving people.

A Chosun Ilbo columnist cites a case of a North Korean defector who escaped from North Korea and now lives in Seoul. When the newly-arrived refugee first ate in a restaurant, he was served corn on the cob, and blurted out to the server, "Take it away immediately."

Why? The North Korean felt a surge of guilt over the two sons he had been forced to leave behind. Back in the 70’s, when this man was no longer well enough to work in the mines, his sons started growing corn on the mountain behind their home. For more than a decade, this family survived on corn, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hence North Korean defectors are often overwhelmed by guilt whenever they eat something delicious. The greatest wish of many North Korean defectors would be to have a hot meal of rice with the family they left behind.

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