With the recent hacking attack on SONY Pictures Entertainment, the free world has most likely been given a unique glimpse into the level of intimidation and Mafia methods that the Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime uses on its own people. As anyone familiar with the regime’s actions might expect, North Korea has made it difficult to trace their action, but they implicated themselves when they called the cyberattack “a righteous action.”
Let’s assume for a moment the strong probability that North Korea is behind the SONY hacking is accurate, either directly or through better trained ‘hired guns’ in Russia,Eastern Europe or Iran. This time the vicious strong-armed tactics that the North Korean regime usually unleashes on its own people are being applied to a commercial enterprise in a free country. Why? North Korea’s bizarre target for its cyber-rage is The Interview, a parody on North Korea’s wet-behind-the-ears-leadership. Enfant terrible, Kim Jong Un’s pride is royally offended. By the way, the people of North Korea’s ‘secret state’ know all too well what his wrath feels like: banishment, three-generation imprisonment in the gulag, torture, and summary execution.
At the moment, the Internet is abuzz with news of SONY’s lost profits due to the hackers’ theft of five of its new movies, not to mention the compromising of personal information of its stars, employees and clients. Mass media are gravitating in a feeding frenzy to the unflattering remarks by SONY’s film directors about President Obama and the conglomerate’s own stars, Angelina Jolie and Adam Sandler, than it is on the wider implications of this crime.
What is really going on here? A bit of reflection should prompt the obvious conclusion that the 20+million citizens of North Korea are subject to the same type of totalitarian intimidation that North Korea or its clients are clumsily trying to apply to SONY. The only difference is that DPRK residents are subject to this treatment on a daily basis. Although less spectacular than the SONY hack and largely unseen by the international community, the citizens of North Korea are perpetually held in a vice grip. As the landmark 2014 UN COI report made abundantly clear, the denial of human rights inside North Korea is “horrific.” To quote just a brief section from a statement by Commission’s Chairman, Justice Michael Kirby,”The Commission of Inquiry has found systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations occurring in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It has also found a disturbing array of crimes against humanity. These crimes are committed against inmates of political and other prison camps; against starving populations; against religious believers; against persons who try to flee the country – including those forcibly repatriated by China.”
It is for this very reason that HHK_Catacombs has dedicated itself for the past 18 years to lending vital assistance to North Koreans in crisis: refugees, orphans, homeless children, persecuted Christians, and citizens on the bottom of of North Korea’s “songbun” social system, deprived of adequate food, medical care and human rights of any kind.
Most likely, SONY will lose some of its profits for angering the Kim family regime of North Korea. This will be a mere speed bump for the corporate giant. By contrast, the real tragedy is that each North Korean life is sacrificed to the whims and impulsive rage of a line of leaders characterized by narcissism and sadistic practices and policies.
Seth Rogen’s parody of the amateurish tyrant, Kim Jong Un, will get laughs; he and James Franco will get big Hollywood paychecks. But the daily suffering of tens of millions of North Korean people in the DPRK’s ‘straitjacket society’ is no laughing matter.