These are the Signs of the Times.
|Dear People of North Korea:|
I am a Friend you do not Know from across the World. My Name is Kevin, I live in the city of Salisbury, the state of Maryland, on the Eastern Coast of the United States of America. I am 28 years old, and I have just begun a Family of my own. I am Young and I'm in Love, and tonight, I am thinking heavily about the World that surrounds me. I just finished reading a Book about what Life is like in North Korea, as related by secret journalists who have snuck across the Tumen River, carrying information and sometimes refugees. It is strange to hear about your lives in North Korea. I have friends in many Nations throughout the World, and I am free to move about from Nation to Nation myself, if I please. When I was fifteen and again when I was sixteen, I traveled to Brazil. The idea that You do not have this same freedom of movement saddens me, as does the idea that your government refuses to let Americans into your Country. I hear that North Korea's countryside is very beautiful, I hear that Mt. Paektu-san is lovely. I would love to hike it someday. I also hear that the People of Korea are courteous and gentle. I met a South Korean girl when I went to college ten years ago and she became a close friend of mine. I imagine that if I ever met a North Korean we would similarly be great Friends, but I know that this is very difficult. I learned in the Book that I just read, that a large number of North Korean refugees have been reaching the United States lately. Apparently there is a Church only about a two hours' drive from my house where North Korean refugees worship God together. I am strongly considering visiting, despite the fact that I do not speak Korean. I know a few words and phrases, but would have difficulty having a face to face conversation.
I am inspired by the idea that some within North Korea find the Courage to flee the controls which the Kim regime has placed upon your Sovereign Lives, and I would dearly like to meet a few of the Brave Individuals who succeeded. If I ever discovered that this letter I am writing now reached someone's ears in North Korea, and helped convinced him or her to try to leave, and they succeeded, I would be enormously Happy. I wish You the best, my Korean brothers and sisters. We are not that different, we are very alike. I know that you all care for your families as I care for mine. I hope that my Children Inherit a World where everyone can be Friends. And I hope that Your Children have long, happy, prosperous Lives where they are never Hungry, where they are Free to Worship whomever they Like, or Free to not worship at all. I wish with all my Heart that Korea would be unified, that those of You who have families already living in the South, or even here in the United States, or elsewhere in the welcoming World, would see Your families again, and never have to part. I pray for You, that Change may come to North Korea, that a few courageous People will realize they were born for such a Time as this, and that a Beam of Light would enter North Korea. I know that the Kim Family teaches You that Life is horrible outside North Korea. I assure You it is not. This is not Paradise, and the Government certainly does have its problems. But people are Free to criticize, Free to try and Change it. I recently stood in front of the White House in a crowd of 50,000 demanding that President Obama reject plans to build an oil pipeline across our continent. I am, in general, a supporter of President Obama. But I don't think twice about telling him how I think he should do his job. And I hope that You will one day find a Leader for your Nation who listens to You, rather than making You listen to him.
Last of all I would like to tell You that We are living in an exciting Time on the Planet today. It is a shame your information about the outside World is so restricted, because I take great delight each day in scanning the news information from all around the World on the Internet, watching videos and listening to interviews. It seems that late in 2010 a great wave of freedom and democracy started in Tunisia and spread across Africa, into the Middle East. Maybe you have heard of the so-called "Arab Spring." To see people standing up to their governments in parts of the World where this has been historically uncommon made my heart rejoice. Then in the Autumn of 2011 I became involved in it within my own Nation. I joined what is known as the Occupy Movement, and became an outspoken critic of the United States' environmental policies. This has been quite an Adventure and we have seen our government respond in small ways to our criticisms. I know that speaking out against Your government would be a far riskier adventure. I may have risked arrest a time or two, but I was sure that if I had been arrested, I would have a trial and a lawyer, and my time would have been short if I was sentenced (which was unlikely) and I would have been back in society, a citizen in good standing, relatively quickly. Maybe just a couple days later. This, apparently, is much different than what can be expected in North Korea at this time. Nonetheless, I pray that somehow Change and Dissent comes, so that when my kids and yours are grown, both walk in Friendship and in Freedom.