The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) -- North Korea is hell on earth. It ranks at the bottom of every international measure of freedom.
Food is scarce. Religion is banned. Jails are abundant. According to a news release made available to the ASSIST News Service, 200,000 men, women and children are incarcerated in political prisons. Their crimes? Possessing a Bible or disrespecting a photograph of Kim John Il.
It is a crime to leave the country. And for those who dare to flee, there is another circle of hell: life on the run in China.
In her book "Escape from North Korea," Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the story of North Koreans escaping to liberty.
The news release says that Kirkpatrick traces the North Koreans' harrowing passage along a secret route through China, which rejects them as criminals, on to Southeast Asia or Mongolia and, finally, to the sanctuary of South Korea and sometimes the U.S. They travel on a new "underground railroad," operated by brokers who are in it for the money and Christians who are in it to serve God.
Just as escaped slaves from the American South educated Americans about the evils of slavery, the North Korean fugitives are informing the world about the evil country they fled.
According to the news release, "Escape from North Korea" describes how these heroic escapees are also sowing the seeds for change within North Korea by channeling news back to those they left behind.
In doing so, the news release says, these escapees are helping to open their information-starved homeland, exposing their countrymen to liberal ideas, and laying the intellectual groundwork for transforming the totalitarian regime that keeps an entire nation in chains.
The news release says Christianity Today calls "Escape from North Korea" "a rare book that puts human faces on the numbers, a lamentation over policies and duplicities that have haunted a people terribly divided."
According to the news release Richard Land says, "Melanie Kirkpatrick has done humanity a great service by telling this compelling story."
The news release says Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun writes, "Her story reminds us all of why communist regimes so fear religion."
Escape from North Korea is published by Encounter Books.
Melanie Kirkpatrick is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and former deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page.
For more information go to www.MelanieKirkpatrick.com