by Amy Rachel Peterson
My younger sister popped up the other day on g-chat, a shocked tone in her writing…
“Did you know about this?” And she pasted a link to the news about Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s trial in North Korea. “Crazy. I had no idea!”
I briefly told her it was even worse than she thought. Although not widely reported, the two American journalists had been arrested while investigating the human trafficking of refugees – North Korean women who have escaped across the border to China.
Approximately 80-90% of North Korean refugees, especially women and children, become victims of human trafficking once in China. Many are sold as “brides” several times over, and the horrific punishment they would endure if deported back to North Korea keeps them from going to the Chinese authorities.
The two American journalists were headed toward Yanji, where they were to interview refugees who were being forced by traffickers to strip for online customers. The reporters were being assisted by a Seoul-based pastor, Rev. Chun Ki-won, whose Christian group helps defectors.
“Really?” she responded. “Whoa—Lord protect them. I mean, a LABOR CAMP! How could we let that happen? They’re ours!!”