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Old 3 January 2003, 04:27
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Unhappy De Opresso Liber

I was watching ABC's Nightline, and saw the report titled "Hidden Lives." It was about a North Korean family that fled to China to escape famine. They are forced to live in an underground hole in the mountains, catching their own food, and the father worked at a factory an hour's walk away for food (no money.) Originally the family arrived with 3 children, and 1 on the way (wife was pregnant.) Over the years, they had to give each one away, except the youngest. The youngest boy was now 5 years old, but clearly from malnutrition, he had severely stunted growth, as he looked like a tiny pigmy. To make matters worse, one of the boy's few means of comfort, was smoking cigarrettes. It was saddening to see a tiny 5 year old kid walking around, with a cigaratte between his fingers, taking a puff every once in a while.

The show ended with the parents sneaking into the city from the mountains with their 5 year old son, to see their daughters for the first time since they've been in an orphanage. Before leaving their hideout, the parents and the boy have a "last meal together" of sorts, and even that didn't look appetizing. They split up to find their own way to the city, in order to evade capture. When they get to the orphanage, the parents are clearly very happy to see their daughters, but the 2 daughters are silent, and are clearly sad, and start crying. Yet the parents are all smiles. Finally, the parents and the 2 daughters and 5 year old boy get together for a group photo, and then just the 3 kids for a kids' photo. But the 5 year old boy starts crying because he suspects that his parents will leave him at the orphanage. The parents quickly sooth him, but the boy is crying so much they just tell him "ok we're going home." Throughout all this, the parents are always smiling, optimistic, seeming pretty happy. They grab the boy, and start walking to a waiting car...where the mom kinda gets into the car, but then puts the boy in the backseat, and shuts the door on her way out. Amidst all this you can hear the boy screaming and crying, and the car zips off. Soon after, whatever composure the parents had is completely gone, as they break down and start crying uncontrollably.

I can't begin to imagine how hard it would be to give up all your children, especially considering your children are your only source of comfort living in a tiny hole in the mountains. I know there's a lot of death and starvation going on everywhere, but I don't know...this story just touched me a lot more than anything I've ever seen in my life...maybe it's because I'm Korean.

Sorry for the long post, but this just really disturbed me. I know I won't be able to go to bed tonight knowing that there are thousands of more people suffering like this. If anyone ever needs a reason to join the Special Forces, I can't think of anything better than to simply "free the oppressed."

Here is the link for the complete article, not sure when they will re-air, but I would recommend that you all watch it, as it is incredibly moving.

Last edited by 007; 3 January 2003 at 05:19.
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Old 3 January 2003, 05:57
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If you're interested, the sequel to this episode, will be airing during Nightline tommorrow (Friday.) That is on ABC, either at 11:30pm or 12am, I forget which one.

Essentially the parents get caught, sent back to a North Korean labor camp, and they escape, and that's all I know.

Sorry, I usually don't post here too much, but I mean, we all know that there is a lot of pain and suffering going on everywhere...but watching this family and hearing them talk, laugh, smile, and cry, for an hour on tv, really put a face on the situation. I think every American needs to see exactly how lucky we are to be here.
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