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Diseases, hunger, and refugees from the North as the regime celebrates its leader Kim Jong-il
by Joseph Yun Li-sun

ICC Note: Here is a tiny look inside to North Korea and what its citizens must endure from their leader. Kim Jong-il hates Christians more than anything so if he isn’t taking care of the people who are worshiping him then what is he doing to those that don’t?

2/20/07 North Korea For full story…..(AsiaNews) – As North Korea celebrates in great style the 65th anniversary of its dictator, widespread poverty that leaves no social group untouched, epidemics that seem to break out at an alarming rate and the regime’s tight control over its citizens threaten to provoke a mass exodus towards the south of the peninsula, this according to a group of Korean politicians and Catholic sources in the archdiocese of Seoul. Based on recent data on illegal migration from the North, they warn that “if the situation does not change, we shall be overwhelmed by the penniless, possibly carrying all sorts of diseases.”

The concern is not an exaggeration. Seoul just released data about North Korean refugees. They show that last year 10,000 arrived in the south, up from 2,000 in the previous year.

To confirm those fears, the North Korean government has reported that a measles epidemic broke out in the north of the country killing four people and infecting some 3,000.

According to the International Red Cross, Pyongyang has requested five million doses of vaccine to fight the epidemic.

Anonymous sources inside the South Korean government believe that this outbreak is a direct consequence of the latest famine caused by crop failure in the Stalinist nation. Malnutrition and years of poor health care have created “the best possible conditions in the world for the outbreak of any kind of disease.”

For its part the Korean Church is building a ‘Unification Centre’ some ten kilometres from the border to stop the impact of such conditions. A local priest told AsiaNews that the centre “will be used to receive refugees from the North as well as help prepare our lay people, especially the young, to possible reunification.”

The centre’s purpose is “to provide first class medical assistance to those sick people who flee the regime but also get young ready to avoid a situation like that created in Germany when the Wall came down. We must educate people to be more altruistic and understanding. Otherwise we run the risk of finding ourselves with millions of socially marginalized people.”