In the wake of that story about the North Korean soldier who made a mad dash for his life and lived to tell about it, we’re seeing more evidence of the desperation that Kim Jong-Un has wrought.
Over the weekend, the Japanese Coast Guard discovered a dark wooden boat filled with mostly-skeletonized human beings in the area of their coastline closest to North Korea. In addition to the eight dead, the boat also contained notes written in Korean, so we know beyond a reasonable doubt that these were people desperate to escape from the savage Kim regime.
In the same area, but in a seemingly unrelated occurrence, the bodies of two men washed ashore, along with pieces of a wooden boat. All these victims join the nine bodies and three survivors that have been found in boats this year.
It’s no wonder that the soldier at the DMZ chose to gamble with North Korean bullets; trying to escape by boat is no less dangerous than being fired upon. And a fast death would certainly be preferable to a slow and insanely torturous one.
Perhaps what was going through the minds of all these poor souls was some version of “Give me liberty or give me death.” But that’s hard to say, as the North Koreans have little comprehension of the natural state called liberty that we blithely take for granted (especially if we are NFL players, but I digress). With so little access to the outside world and even to such concepts as freedom and democracy, they surely listen to their stomachs (and perhaps their sad hearts) more than they do their heads. The shocking condition of that soldier tells it: infestation with parasites, borderline starvation.
No, the main thought was probably more like “Give me food or give me death.”