But all of a sudden, things seemed to have changed. North Korea agreed to reconnect the Seoul-Pyongyang hotline. North Korea has suspended missile launches and nuclear tests. Kim has visited South Korea, the first time any leader of the North has done this and agreed with the president of the South to work towards some kind of peace agreement.
And this is all good.
As events continue to unfold, however, we must not lose sight of how evil the Kim dynasty is. Those who preach understanding and peace would do well to be sobered by this.
Almost 5 per cent of North Korea’s population exists in a state of slavery. The rule of law does not exist. Torture, cruel punishments and unjust executions are not failures and lapses in the country’s justice system, but central features of it. Not only are abortions forced, but children born with physical defects are murdered by the state.
The people starve. If they are suspected of insufficient loyalty to the government, they are imprisoned. The government indoctrinates the people with a race-based nationalism.
North Korea is a country that combines the poverty of communism with the xenophobia of fascism while sharing the tyranny of both. For all the talk of hope and optimism, that is the type of regime being accommodated. The desirability of peace does not detract from that harsh truth.
A useful reminder of how bad North Korea is. Yes we want peace. But ultimately we want North Korea to open up and change. The human beings born in North Korea deserve a better future than modern slavery.