Robert Park and Genocide and Torture II

February 4, 2012 6:45 AM

In an earlier post, we outlined some reservations about viewing North Korea through the lens of genocide. Nonetheless, we thought the issue deserved an airing and we reproduced an article by Robert Park in the Harvard International Review that makes the case. For those not familiar with his story, Park crossed into North Korea to draw attention to the persecution of Christians and was himself subsequently arrested, imprisoned and abused before finally being released.

Park is now continuing his campaign against North Korea by pressing charges against the regime for the torture he suffered during his detention. There can be little doubt about the likelihood of such abuse, as we found in our own interviews with refugees reported in Witness to Transformation. But two things in Park’s media advisory—reproduced below—caught our eye.

First, the advisory notes that survivors of the Pueblo incident successfully sued North Korea in US courts for torture they experienced. An overview of the trauma suffered by the Pueblo crew during captivity—with similar aftermath—was provided by a Navy doctor in a paper delivered in 1975. A .pdf of the original report is available here. Park is indeed correct (although the decision was issued in 2008 not 2009). In 2006, three of the surviving Pueblo captives and the wife of their commanding officer filed suit claiming the 11 months of torture caused lasting physical and psychological damage.

According to an AmLaw news item on the case, Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. decided on the $65 million award after hearing testimony from Bucher's widow, Rose, and the three Pueblo survivors. All three survivors suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome, and one, Dunnie Tuck, claimed he could barely lift anything because Korean soldiers struck his back so often. The bathroom the hostages were forced to use was four floors below their cells, and a different soldier-escort would beat them on each floor as they led the hostages on trips to and from the bathroom: eight beatings per man per trip according to the testimony. Collecting on the judgment will be an uphill battle to say the least, but the effects of these suits should not be underestimated. The parties—and the lawyers—have high-powered incentives to keep these claims alive.

The second thing that caught our eye was reference to Genocide Watch's coding of the North Korean case. Genocide Watch has a coding scheme that generates a watch-list with “countries at risk” ranked as 5 for “Polarization,” 6 for “Potential Massacres” and 7 for “Current Massacres.” In their August 2011 update, the last category included—in addition to North Korea—the Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma and Ethiopia. In December 2011, the organization issued a more lengthy Genocide and Politicide Alert noting the targeting of Christians, national and ethnic groups (namely, children of North Korean-Chinese marriages), and what David Marcus has called “famine crimes” in a must-read article.

US Missionary Robert Park to press charges against the DPRK for torture 한국계 미국인 선교사 로버트 박 북한 상대로 고문에 대한 소송 추진

Contact (연락정보):

Seoul, Jan. 31 – US missionary and human rights activist Robert Park will press charges against the DPRK for extensive torture he suffered in flagrant violation of International Laws and Principles during his 43-day imprisonment in North Korea. 서울, 2012년 1월 31일– 미국출신 선교사이자 인권 운동가인 로버트 박씨가 북한을 상대로 북한 정부가 박씨를 고문한 것에 대해 소송을 추진하고 있다. 북한은 박씨에게 43일 감금 기간동안 여러가지 극심한 고문을 자행했으며 이는 엄연한 국제법 위반이다.

Park crossed illegally into North Korea from China on December 25, 2009 to protest against genocide and crimes against humanity taking place within the country. 박씨는북한에서 일어나고 있는 반인륜적 범죄와 학살에 항거하며 지난 2009년 12월 25일 중국에서 두만강을 건너 북한에 불법 입국했다.

The missionary has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), continues to suffer frequent nightmares, flashbacks and has attempted suicide twice as a result of trauma incurred in North Korea. 박 선교사는 고문의 후유증으로 외상 후 스트레스 장애 (post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD)를 판정 받았다. 그 밖에도 북한에서의 고문에서 비롯된 정신적 외상(트라우마) 때문에 계속 고문에 대한 기억과 악몽에 시달리고 있으며 이미 두 번 자살시도를 했다.

Members of the USS Pueblo who were tortured in North Korea (1968) successfully sued the DPRK in US courts in 2009, with a federal judge awarding them $65 million in damages. 1968년 푸에들로호 납치사건의 피해자들은 2009년에 미국 법원을 통해 북한에 대한 소송을 걸어 미 연방정부 판사의 승소 판결로 그때 당시 6천 500만불을 손해배상 받은바 있다.

Park is not interested in a financial settlement but in speaking out against the regime's mass atrocities and ongoing genocide, and has vowed to devote any money earned to funding anti-Pyongyang forces within North Korea and in China. 박씨는 금전적 손해배상에 뜻을 두고 있지 않다. 하지만 금전적 소득이 있을 경우 북한 정권의 대대적인 잔학행위와 지금도 계속되고 있는 학살에 대항하는 의미로 전액을 북한과 중국에 있는 평양정권에 대항하는 단체들을 위해 쓰겠다고 단언했다.

Genocide Watch, a Washington-based international nongovernmental organization that seeks to end genocide, said in a report last month that North Korea has "committed genocide and political mass killings," and is "a serial killer state." 워싱턴에 근거한 국제적 비정부 조직으로써 학살 중단을 목적으로하는 Genocide Watch는 북한이 “학살과 정치적 이유에 근거한 대규모 살인을 저질렀다”며 북한은 “연쇄 살인을 자행하는 국가”라고 지난달 보고서에서 밝혔다.

On Genocide Watch Board of Advisors is Samantha Power, senior director for multilateral affairs at the U.S. National Security Council. 백악관 국가안보회의(National Security Council) 간부인 사만다 파워 (Samantha Power)는Genocide Watch의 고문단중 한 명이다.

Park said he wants to meet with Power to discuss convincing national governments to invoke the "responsibility to protect." 박씨는 사만다 파워를 만나 미국 정부가 [북한 인권] 보호 책임을 질 수 있도록 설득하는 방안을 상의하고 싶다는 의사를 표했다.

Press Conference (기자회견)

When (일시): Friday, February 3, 2012, 4PM (2012년 2월 3일 금요일 오후 4시)

Where (장소): In front of the Chinese Embassy, Hyoja-dong, Seoul, Republic of Korea (서울 효자동 주한 중국 대사관 앞)

Articles by Robert Park (로버트박 선교사 관련기사):

"Responsibility to Protect in North Korea" (북한 보호의 책임)- Harvard International Review:

"South Korea must act to save the lives of refugees from the North" (남한 반드시 탈북주민 살리기 위해 싸워야) - National Post:

"When will we stop the genocide in North Korea?" (우리는 언제 북한정권의 학살을 막을 것인가) - Washington Post:

"North Korea and the Genocide Convention" (북한과 학살 방지 집회) - Asia Times:

"Battling a system of starvation" (“굶주림 체계”와의 전투) - Haaretz:

"Responsibility to Protect in North Korea" (북한 보호의 책임) - The Hill:

"북한을 위해 우리가 할 수 있는 것" - Future Korea Journal:

Please refer to (참고자료):


Documentary Evidence of Genocide in North Korea (북한정권이 자행하고 있는 학살에 대한 증거가 담긴 다큐멘터리) :

Documentary Evidence of Concentration Camps, Gas Chambers, Chemical and Biological Weapon Experimentation on Human Beings in North Korea (북한의 강제 수용소, 가스실, 인간을 대상으로한 생화학 부기 실험에 관한 증거가 담긴 다큐멘터리) :

Documentary - Public Execution in North Korea (북한의 공개처형에 관한 다큐멘터리) :

"Quest to end North Korean genocide evokes parallels to the Holocaust":

Contacts (연락처): Facebook Group (페이스북 그룹): Stop Genocide in North Korea