Korean American missionary Robert Park was detained for 43 days after illegally crossing the border to North Korea last Christmas. Park crossed the Tumen river from China into North Korea carrying a letter addressed to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, urging him to make major changes to the North Korean government. Park was released in February 6, 2010 with North Korean Central News Agency stating, “The relevant organ of the DPRK decided to leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrong doings into consideration.”
Robert Park spoke on South Korean TV today for the first time about the ordeal. Park spoke of how he was immediately arrested and beaten after he crossed the border. "The scars and wounds of the things that happened to me in North Korea are too intense," he said. He added that to prevent him from divulging the details of his detention, the security forces carried out humiliating sexual torture. "As a result of what happened to me in North Korea, I've thrown away any kind of personal desire. I will never, you know, be able to have a marriage or any kind of relationship."
Park’s torture was so severe that he even attempted suicide as soon as he returned to the United States and had to be treated in a mental hospital for seven months.
Park stated that the apology he read on North Korean TV was forced upon him. When asked what made him decide to enter North Korea, he said "I hoped through my sacrifice, that people will come together and they will liberate North Korea."
To learn more about the situation in North Korea, come join LiNk, Cornerstone, and KSA for the screening of the documentary “Hiding.” This film is about a group of North Korean refugees’ struggles to survive. The screening will be held at the East Room in Pierpont Commons this Saturday (10.30) at 6 PM!photo credits to hanopolis.com
By: Taejoon Han