Last week, the North Korean communists allowed 100 of its citizens
who have family members in the South to go see and touch them for the
first time in 50 years. They also allowed 100 South Koreans to go North
to see their long lost family members.
Ever since the end of the Korean War, the North Korean communists
have prevented those with relatives on either side of the border from
seeing each other. They have prevented them from sending letters or
post cards to each other. They have even prevented them from calling
each other on the phone. So most people with relatives on one side or
the other don’t even know if their family members are alive.
We are not talking about distant relatives here. We are talking
about husbands and wives. Mothers and sons. Fathers and daughters.
The very essence of family. For 50 years, the godless communists of the
North kept these people apart. I feel so good knowing that God is
just. Because God has a special place for people who so violate basic
While only 200 people were able to make the trips, more than 700,000
South Koreans applied. And although the lucky 200 were able to see
those loved ones who were still alive, they had to go back to their
respective countries after only two days.
This long-awaited reunion turned South Korea into a river of tears.
Quite simply, every South Korean either has a relative trapped in the
North or knows someone who does. I am not Korean, but I cried hot and
bitter tears along with the people of Korea.
Those old men and women and their children may not have been my
relatives, but they were my fellow humans. Think about the screams of
joy and pain that would escape your chest if you had been denied the
right to talk to and hold your mother for a half-century. Even now, as
I write these words, my eyes well up with tears about the outrage of a
“government” preventing its people from the most basic and sacred of
human rites: the closeness of family.
It is said that the communists didn’t want their people exposed to
the South because it would make it harder to control them. It is said
that the communists still harbored resentment from the centuries of
“mistreatment” that the North believed it suffered when the country was
unified. It is said that the communists just wanted to give their
people a better life. I don’t care. Nothing justified keeping families
I believe that the North Korean communists hate their people. I
believe that the North Korean communists got trapped in a cult of
worship that doomed them to follow the failed policies for Stalinist
communism. Sadly, the good people of North Korea have paid the ultimate
price for the failures of the North Korean government.
Reports from human rights groups tell us that millions of North
Koreans have been starved to death by their government. These reports
say that a whole generation has been so malnourished that they will be
forever stunted. We know that the same government that steals food from
the mouths of babies feeds its military and high government leaders
well. And uses part of its “food money” to build weapons to terrorize
North Korea is one of the last countries to call itself a “Democratic
People’s Republic.” My friends, I’ve learned the hard way that any
country that puts these lofty sounding words in its name is neither
democratic nor a republic. And the only thing they have for their
people is disdain.
No, what we see in North Korea and Cuba is the ultimate in
arrogance. Their revolutions failed. They didn’t work. Their people
are much worst off than those who embraced true freedom. But instead of
admitting the truth, they have condemned their people to live their
lie. And the price that we have all paid is just simply horrific.
All of Korea cried last week. But the tears won’t stop now that the
families have been separated again. Think about the age of these
people. Fifty years have passed. Thousands of these separated Koreans
die each week without having ever touched their children, their parents
or their spouses again. They die not knowing if they even are alive.
And it is so unnecessary.
It is time for this crime against humanity to end. It is time for
North Korea to open up its borders and let its people go. It is time
for the lie to end and the healing to begin. Its time for the tears to
be tears of joy.