Crisis in North Korea
When Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il, was announced as North Korea’s next leader, there was some hope of reform. However those hopes were soon dashed. He revealed he would be following in his father’s footsteps of “military-first” policy. It was not too long before Kim Jong-un unveiled his intention of making nuclear warheads, much to the ire of South Korea, China, and the rest of the international community on whose assistance the government in Pyongyang survives.
On December 12, 2012 North Korea launched a long-range rocket that appears to have put a satellite in space. Even though North Korea claims the launch was for peaceful purposes, the international community sees it as an important step in the direction of constructing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The UN had banned North Korea from ballistic missile tests after nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Because of North Korea’s brazen defiance of the ban, the UN Security Council adopted a new resolution expanding sanctions against North Korea. This in turn has caused North Korea to affirm its intent of strengthening nuclear deterrents and developing other military capabilities.
What often goes unnoticed or under-noticed in such brinkmanship by North Korea is the human tragedy that unfolds every day in villages, towns, and cities in that country. Even the publicity stunt of Kim Jong-un at a meat market or grocery store filled with supplies fails to assure the person on the street. The only reality in this shameful display is most families cannot afford these supplies.
State rations are not distributed as is touted and people are resorting to extreme measures. Families starve to death. Beggars take food at knifepoint. One man told reporters the sad story of a family that cooked and ate its last meal together. They died almost immediately because they had added rat poison to their rice porridge. Signs of hunger are visible in children whose growth is stunted because of malnutrition.
Even as North Korea flexes its military muscles, its people live in conditions that are horrifying and quite desperate.
According to the World Watch List, North Korea is ranked No. 1 in persecuting Christian Believers. Pray for the Christians who live under this tyranny. Pray for the release of Believers from the notorious Labor camps (The Bible, Psalm 118:5-6).
Pray that God would overthrow powers and principalities of darkness that are holding North Korea captive (The Bible, Psalm 72:12-14).
Pray for perverse dictators like Kim Jong-un to have a powerful encounter with God so they may turn from their oppressive ways (The Bible, Matthew 5:44).
Pray for wisdom from God for the international community so they find solutions to deal with North Korea’s nuclear threat, malnutrition, and human rights violations (The Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6).
North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world. Pray for the people of North Korea to know that the Lord loves them, cares for them, and cherishes them. Pray that God will meet their physical and spiritual needs (The Bible, Isaiah 41:10).
This article originally appeared in the March 2013 Edition of the Win 10/40 Reporter.
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