North Koreans May Copy the East German Precedent

When Citizens Face Imprisoning Fences
There are a few examples in recent history of nation-states ceasing to exist almost overnight.  One of these is East Germany.  On one occasion, whilst gingerly feeling its way forward, East Germany opened its borders to West Germany for a day.  The authorities expected that a few East Germans would wander across, look around out of curiosity, and return to the East.  Some indeed did the sight-seeing trip.  But thousands crossed the border that day and did not return.  It was the end of the new beginning.  The German Democratic Republic itself was in its death throes.  And everybody knew it. 

A significant component of this event was that citizens on both sides of the border viewed themselves fundamentally as Germans.  It was their racial, ethnic identity.  We are now confronted with another possible people led re-unification–namely, Korea.  There are several salient similarities with the case of people-led German re-unification.  The ethnic, racial, cultural and historical ties that link the two as one are an example.  Both North and South view themselves as Koreans.

There is lots that we do not know.  But by all accounts the state of life and the suffering of the common people in North Korea is atrocious.  Meanwhile, over the border, down south, there is a rapidly modernising, peaceful, prosperous Asian Tiger.

The North Korean regime is typical of totalitarian dictatorships.  It long ago lost touch with reality and can no longer distinguish reality from propaganda.
  Its latest ploy is to make a propaganda play about “shutting down” its underground nuclear testing facility, when intelligence is indicating a recent underground nuclear test destroyed the facility.  The regime is attempting to display its “good faith” in advance of the upcoming talks with the United States.

The unknown factor is the border.  If thousands upon thousands of North Koreans simply walked across it, taking matters into their own hands, it would be the end of the Kim regime and its tyranny.  The German Democratic Republic provides a precedent.  We will see.

In the meantime, the Trump administration has been given a “win” by North Korea.  Three  Americans have been released from North Korean incarceration and allowed to return home to the US.

Upon arriving to the United States with Vice President Mike Pence, one of the three Americans who were detained in North Korea handed Pence a note with an awe-inspiring Christian message.  Pence shared the note on social media.  What did the note say?  It’s not clear what the personal side of the note said, but Pence shared the side that included Psalm 126. [The Blaze]

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when 3 Americans stepped onto the tarmac at @JBA_NAFW & gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back. “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion…” To these men of faith & courage – God bless you & welcome home!

It’s unclear who wrote the note and Pence did not say who it was. However, we know that the three detainees are devoted Christians.  Kim Hak-song, who was detained in May 2017 while teaching rice-growing at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, is an ordained evangelical Christian pastor affiliated with a church in Los Angeles, according to CNN.

Similarly, Kim Dong Chul, a businessman who was accused of spying, is widely known to be a Christian missionary and was once a pastor.  “He told the churches that he was a missionary working on North Korea and sending stuff from China into the North to help poor North Koreans,” a North Korean defector said of Kim.  Meanwhile, Kim Sang Duk, known also as Tony Kim, is a Christian who has been described as a “religiously devoted man,” according to Patheos.

How many Christians are there in North Korea?  It is impossible to tell.  But historically persecution tends to purify and strengthen the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  When the covers are removed, we may find ourselves very surprised at the “christianness” of the North Korean population.

It may well be that we will see a “people-power” end to the North Korean regime.  It may well be that we will see a suffering and desperate population defy the border guards and cross en-masse into the South.  This, we suspect, is the abiding fear of the North Korean regime.

There are some walls built to keep the invader out.  There are other walls built to keep a population imprisoned in their own country.  The Korean 39th Parallel is definitely the latter.  We may see a repeat of East German “people power” making a border fence archaic overnight.  We may find ouit whether it can withstand citizens on mass crossing over to South.

Meanwhile, from a human perspective, a lot now hangs upon the US President.  Is he all “tough talk” and no substance?  Or will he get a verifiable, authentic capitulation from the North Korean regime.  Will he be able to talk softly without relinquishing the big stick?  So far, it’s hard to see where he has tactically put a foot wrong in this matter.
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