Thursday, 11 April 2019

Guilt By Association

Injustice on Steroids

Being just and and practising justice is a divine attribute.  As it says in Deuteronomy:
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
    ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.  [Deuteronomy 32: 3-4]
The opposite is also true: depraved humanity manifests injustice.  The more depraved, the more injustice. 

Few nations have reached the nadir of perversity and injustice achieved by North Korea.  One attribute in particular of the Kim tyranny illustrates this--namely, the law of "guilt-by-association". 
North Korea has long had a law of guilt-by-association, and punishes its people accordingly.  I cannot think of any other government that utilizes such a savage and cruel system.  When I was living in North Korea, if someone defected, it was inevitable that their family, including distant relatives, would be jailed and sent to a camp.  Because of this barbaric law, no one in North Korea ever thought about opposing the government through real action. 

So why do they need this system?  In North Korea, there is no one more aware of the absurdity and irrationality of the North Korean system than the diplomats themselves.  In this respect, the government is well aware that brainwashing diplomats and asking for their loyalty will be ineffective in reining them in.  Alternatively, the authorities use parents' love for their children as leverage.  As such, it is obligatory for North Korean diplomats to leave at least one of their children at home when going abroad.   Those children who stay at home are then looked after by relatives.  [Ji-min Kang, quoted in Ask a North Korean, edited by Daniel Tudor (Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2017), p. 174f.]
For those of us privileged to live in relatively free societies with power divided and spread amongst a variety of powers such depravity is difficult to comprehend.  North Korea truly has become a nation of slaves--like Pharaoh holding Israel under the whip. 

No comments: