[the worst place on earth]

Topic: North Korea

Korea by night.

Christopher Hitchens argues in Slate that North Korea is a slave state, worse than the dystopia of Orwell’s 1984, where the entire population is not only enslaved but starving.

Hitchens concludes with a set of recommendations:

It seems to me imperative that the human rights movement, hitherto unpardonably tongue-tied about all this, should insistently take up the case of North Korea and demand that an underground railway, or perhaps even an overground one, be established. Any Korean slave who can get out should be welcomed, fed, protected, and assisted to move to South Korea. Other countries, including our own, should announce that they will take specified numbers of refugees, in case the current steady trickle should suddenly become an inundation.

I think he’s on the right track. We may not have a solution to the North Korea problem immediately at hand, any more than we had a solution to the Soviet problem in the 1980s, but the policy then of highlighting human rights abuses, shaming the Soviets and supporting dissidents was morally and tactically the right one, and the same should be true for North Korea today.