Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Key to Regime Change in North Korea

From Monday's Opinion Journal, Melanie Kirkpatrick notes that producing regime change in the DPRK may hinge on helping those who want to flee the communist hell-hole. It's an idea that we advocated in this space a couple of months ago, and one that has clear merit. Thousands of North Koreans have attempted to leave their country over the past decade, yet there are only a few individual "rescuers" or aid groups that provide support.

In her piece, Ms. Kilpatrick profiles Phillip Buck, a Korean-American pastor who has risked his life to help people escape the worker's paradise. We can only wonder how much more Pastor Buck could accomplish with a little (indirect) assistance from the U.S. government. We've wasted millions in the past on "opposition groups" (remember the Iraqi National Congress) that did little more than hire lobbyists and issue press releases.

By comparison, Pastor Buck's shoestring operation is achieving results--and putting pressure on the government in Pyongyang--one refugee at a time. Legislation passed in 2004 has made it easier for North Korean refugees to find sanctuary in the U.S., but as Pastor Buck notes, it takes money to literally "buy" a North Korean's freedom. In this case, a little cash could go a long way toward furthering his efforts--and producing regime change in Pyongyang.

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