Thursday, March 12, 2015

Refugees from North Korea in the South

The representative of the Bishops' Committee for the reconciliation of the country is impressed with the refugees from North Korea who are here in the South. In his Catholic Times' column he mentions that with events in which the North and South are present, he marvels at the positive outlook of the refugees.

When you ask them to sing they respond with grace, and pick their song; asked to dance, they extend their hands like a butterfly and fluttering their hands begin to go around in a circle getting everybody involved, and in a short time we have everybody in the group in a joyous mood. When all is over they are the first to begin the clean-up.

To get the Koreans from the South to sing is quite a feat. There is a lot of talk, back and forth, before they acquiesce but to get them to dance, requires more difficult steps for results. At the conclusion of the event those of the South look around to see how the  group is behaving, we do not make the first move, and quietly move towards the exist. The columnist knows where those from the North got their mature and positive attitudes.                                              

The columnist reminds us of the 2003 Universiade in Daegu. A bus load of North Korean cheerleaders coming back from an archery competition, and returning to Daegu, saw a placard that was  put in place by the farmers of the areas to welcome the cheerleaders.The placard showed Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung  shaking hands, the two leaders of the North and South and that time. It was raining and the cheerleaders from the North saw this as disrespect for their leader and complained. They stopped the bus and after lamenting with loud cries at the disrespect for their leader, they  took the placard back with them to their sleeping quarters.   

We, hearing what  happened, are greatly surprised at the reaction of the  cheerleaders. We see only a placard but for the cheerleaders it was like a  religious  image and more so. Do we have anybody cleaning the picture of Jesus or the cross every day?  In the North  each house has a portrait of Kim Il-sung and his son in a prominent place. Each day they would take time out to show devotion to their leaders by cleaning the  portraits with special cloths.

Their devotion to their leaders would be similar to a religious act on our part. This is the kind of training they receive from their earliest years, and continues for life. Their motto is always be ready. The leaders are like the sun for the country. This is the brainwashing they have received, and worship of their leaders is the natural outcome. 

All their acts have loyalty as their foundation and the way they receive political trust, and the reason they concentrate on heroic actions. The closer they are to the leaders  the more  envied by others and makes  them ready to do  every thing spontaneously and quickly.                                                                       

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