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A Christian Analysis of the Robert Park Incursion into

North Korea
th
February 8 , 2010

The damage is done. Not to Robert Park, or to the zealous South Korean missionary
enterprise, nor to the Christian Church – but to the Juche cult practiced as the state
religion of the Democratic Peoples‟ Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Park was released by North Korean officials Saturday after being detained for 43 days
and returned later to his parents in Tucson, AZ. He appeared solemn and defeated
amid great speculation that his foray into North Korea to call attention to its suffering
people was a failure.

The DPRK spends nearly 40% of it‟s annual


budget on the maintenance of the cult
which proclaims that Kim Il Sung is the
eternal leader and savior of [all] Korea and
that „arduous struggle‟ to achieve
reunification under the „great leader Kim Il
Sung‟ is the „sacred duty‟ of all Koreans.
The cult of personality that demands
worship of Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim
Jong Il is all that is holding the regime
together – and preservation of the cult is
the top priority of the government. The
state religion of Juche tolerates no dissent
and its rigorous demand of adherence from
all North Korean citizens has rendered the
DPRK dead last among the world‟s nations in political freedoms and the most
dangerous nation on earth to be a Christian.

Regardless of what happened to Robert Park once inside North Korea, whether torture
of himself or others, brainwashing, or other coercive measures taken to force the
contrived repentance statement he made to the KCNA (the DPRK‟s state run media),
the fact is that he made them play defense.

No American has ever gone into the DPRK as Robert Park did on Christmas Day 2009
in the light of day, openly proclaiming Christ‟s love for North Korea and calling attention
to its abysmal human rights record. Park went in to offer himself as a martyr for the
suffering people of North Korea and to share their misery. Some will say that his
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mission was a failure that resulted in recantation – and this appearance is indeed
compelling until you peel back the layers of the DPRK‟s response to Park‟s brazen
confrontation.

Largely ignored by the media is the fact that the operation was conceived by Park‟s
missionary organization Pax Koreana in December as a 2-pronged attack. Prong one
of course, was Park‟s defenseless incursion into North Korea proclaiming Jesus Christ‟s
love and demanding the opening of the DPRK‟s borders for humanitarian assistance.
The second prong involved the launching of 150,000 leaflets across the demilitarized
zone (DMZ) by helium balloons on January 27th that explained the reason for Park‟s
incursion into North Korea and denounced Kim Jong Il‟s excesses.

Lest one think that helium balloons and plastic leaflets are inconsequential instruments
in getting the truth into the cult-controlled state, consider that the task force charged
with policing up the leaflets is the Korean Peoples‟ Army. The KPA was so concerned
about religion making inroads to the soldiers that this 18 page field bulletin was issued
to the military in 2007 warning against the „evils of religion‟ which was “… not only
taking over the regular citizens but is becoming an influence within the army of North
Korea.”

The document states that, “The enemy is sending bibles, audio and video materials
related to religion and superstition through various routes. They are placing spies within
international delegations entering our borders to spread their religions and superstitious
beliefs and win our citizens over to their side.”

Robert Park‟s entry into North Korea created the KCNA news story that was released
shortly after his surrender to the DPRK on Christmas Day. The KCNA did not explain
Park‟s confrontation of Kim Jong Il, Juche or the regime in its reporting. Then a month
later come 150,000 leaflets across the DMZ, most descending to the ground shortly
after crossing north where 70% of the KPA are currently deployed. Once the military of
North Korea is successfully infiltrated by religious believers, the regime‟s coercive
power has been seriously degraded. Attempting to use the military to oppress the
ordinary people already angered over the redenomination of currency and the severe
malnutrition they face could backfire on the government.

Yes, on the surface it appears that Robert Park and Pax Koreana were outsmarted by
the godmakers of Juche. But strategically speaking, the DPRK‟s response is too little,
too late – the seal has been punctured, the hole has been gouged, the light is leaking in.
The contrived pro-Juche „repentance statement‟ issued by the KCNA in Park‟s name is
a desperate response to a mortal wound inflicted by Pax Koreana which is buttressed

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by the actions of other balloon launchers, missionaries working the Sino-Korean border
to assist defectors, and the prayers of the 500,000 member underground Church.

Robert Park may have buckled under torture of one kind or another – no surprise there.
This is to be expected, not only by us on the outside, but more importantly by citizens of
the DPRK. They know the game. The North Korean people are well acquainted with
the Stalinist tactics of the Juche cult. Park‟s contrived „confession‟ may fool a few, but
the majority of the people know better. And the word is no doubt spreading through the
population and yes, the military, about what Park really came to do. The people of
North Korea now know that Americans care about their suffering. They are beginning to
understand that their plight is known outside the prison-cult that entraps them. This is a
deadly blow to the cult, no matter what the KCNA‟s propaganda machine promulgates
to the contrary.

The reality is that Park came representing no government, no military, no large


organization – he came in the name of Jesus Christ. There is no weapon, tool nor
counter-attack that the Juche cult can implement to defeat the spread of Christianity.
Although Christians have been slaughtered wholesale and brutally oppressed in the
DPRK for 60 years, blood of the martyrs has always been the seed of the Church. It
may take a while to spread, but the word about that American who entered North Korea
on December 25th will get around. No matter how humiliated he may look or feel,
Robert Park was a missile of love that mortally wounded the Juche cult and the DPRK‟s
oppression of its people by doing what no one had ever done before. The DPRK is
playing defense; and the actions of a weak, foolish and beaten down young man may
have dealt the idolatrous cult of Juche its death blow.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak
things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the
despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no
one may boast before him.” 1st Corinthians Chapter 1:28-30

The views expressed in this document are the opinions of the author and do not represent the USFK or
the US Department of Defense in any way.

John.w.proctor@us.army.mil