Sunday, July 30, 2006

Vollertsen: “Wake up to the North Korean Reality!”

North Korean human rights activist, Norbert Vollertsen, has been on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The strike began on July 11th, in protest to urge the Korean government to take action on, and responsibility for the improvement of North Korea human rights.

Vollersten first went to North Korea as a volunteer to do humanitarian aid work and offer medical assistance. The turning point came when he saw a young soldier lying dead on the ground, ruthlessly beaten and abandoned.

Why has he chosen to embark on a hunger strike, a strategy uncommon to foreigners?

The reason is that as a German he cannot understand why the South Korean government does not take action for their people in the North, oppressed and dying of hunger. In regard to why he began the hunger strike, Vollersten says that he is “Fed-up!” with the Korean government.

When asked if he felt tired, he said “Whenever I feel tired, I look at the North Korean children (on the picket). How can I tire when I see their poor faces?” He discloses that the suffering he is enduring now is nothing compared to the suffering of the people and in particular the children of North Korea, and that the hunger strike will be over “when I fall down and I get taken to the hospital.”

[Excerpt of article by By Kim Yong Hun and Kim Yun Yi, Daily NK]

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