March 24, 2012

"Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat."

The amazing story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in a North Korean forced labor camp, and escaped at the age of 23:
In the garment factory, the superintendent wanted Shin to inform on an important new prisoner. Park Yong Chul, short and stout, with a shock of white hair, had lived abroad....

Much of what Park talked about, especially at the beginning, was difficult for Shin to understand or care about. What delighted him—what he kept begging Park for—were stories about food and eating. These were the stories that kept Shin up at night fantasizing about a better life. Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat.

Intoxicated by what he heard, Shin made perhaps the first free decision of his life. He chose not to snitch. And he soon began thinking about escape.

34 comments:

Lyle said...

God damn North Korea. Way to go Shin.

MayBee said...

North Korea is a hellhole and the Kims get away with it because they are completely totalitarian.

traditionalguy said...

Communists just hate food, except for the Chairman and his cronies. North Korea, then Cuba and now Venezuela are on stages down that track.

Starving people are weak people and easy to threaten with food to live on rationing.

The best way for a new Marxist Ruler seems to be to begin by curtailing excess food production and restraining easy distribution.

That first requires that the Ruler place restraints on cheap oil and coal energy which is what lets farmers grow the food and truckers distribute the food.

Enter Obama and Sec'y Chu stage left. Let them eat wind!

Lem said...

Thats nothing..

The Nicks have a player..

what?

what did I say?

Fr Martin Fox said...

It may be a simple sentiment, but so what...

This is yet another reminder of what my parents always taught me: be grateful for what you have.

I'm almost 50, and I have a LOT to be grateful for. I've always had plenty to eat, I've had some wonderful experiences, I've enjoyed a good life so far, and despite all, I still enjoy great freedom.

Good heavens! Imagine looking at a Big Mac like it was paradise? And shame on any of us for complaining about things that are so trivial.

God help those poor folks in that hellhole, North Korea.

MayBee said...

It's all presented to the North Koreans as Dear Leader loving them. He loves them. He wants to take care of them. He makes choices for them for their own safety.

It wasn't always this way there. That's really something to think about.

Lem said...

Sounds like North Koreans are wedded to food.. reminds me of Pee wee's playhouse.. but that was from another tread earlier today.

I refer the right honorable gentleman to the answer I gave earlier today..

PatCA said...

The Occupy sympathizers should be forced to listen to this man about freedom, and about food, as part of any jail sentence.

YoungHegelian said...

During the first war with Iraq, the CBS newsman Bob Simon was captured and held for forty days by the Iraqi regime.

When interviewed after his release, he was asked what he thought about in captivity, and he was somewhat ashamed to admit that he dreamed of walking down Broadway with an ice cream cone in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other, and swapping eating between the two.

It was striking image I still remember.

I've never been really hungry, but those who have say that thoughts of food fill your mind's every waking minute.

EMD said...

Sounds like a great Hollywood movie.

Yeah, like that will happen.

edutcher said...

That's why the Lefties will eventually lose.

You can't stop people like that,

David said...

My father-in-law, a Dutchman, was a Japanese prisoner from January 1942 until September 1945, when he was liberated to the American hospital ship U.S.S. Sanctuary. He was 6'5" tall and his weight had gone from about 200 to 115 pounds during captivity. He had gained 10 pounds in camp after the Japanese surrender just from food airdropped by the USAAF, but was still in terrible shape from parasites, sores and malnutrition.

The ship was a floating hospital but the main treatment was food. He was fed chicken, pork, vegetables, fruit, rice, potatoes, cheese, milk, bread, peanut butter, ice cream, gum, cereal, sugar. It was almost overwhelming but it saved his life. He never forgot the first meal, which he could detail item by item for the rest of his life.

Chip Ahoy said...

These stories make me mad.

edutcher said...

YoungHegelian said...

During the first war with Iraq, the CBS newsman Bob Simon was captured and held for forty days by the Iraqi regime.

When interviewed after his release, he was asked what he thought about in captivity, and he was somewhat ashamed to admit that he dreamed of walking down Broadway with an ice cream cone in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other, and swapping eating between the two.


My brother-in-law once met Jerry Sage, an OSS operative who was captured in North Africa and participated in the Great Escape.

When people met him, they always asked if he missed sex and he'd answer, "No, steaks".

Survival makes one prioritize.

EMD said...

These stories make me mad.

These stories reinforce my genuine faith in humanity and the human will.

He chose to risk his life rather than live under the thumb of totalitarianism.

I fear I have but a shadow of his courage.

MadisonMan said...

Sounds like a compelling book to read.

EDH said...

"Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat."

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

What a bullshit bourgeois lyric. As if freedom itself cannot be lost, except to the very things that individuals need or don't want to lose. Like grilled meat.

Totalitarian enslavement is the word for nothing left to lose.

Ask Shin.

Dustin said...

It is striking to juxtapose those starving North Koreans against their incredibly obese leaders.

Traditional Guy is correct. Food can be the best way to control a country.

JorgXMcKie said...

Perhaps one of the Lefties will explain why anyone should want to "escape" from that Communist paradise to the rotten, income unequal US. It's hard to fathom.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

Control the means of production, energy, farmers markets, cut veggies is a biohazard, control what's grown in your own back yard,

and the republicans helped.

tar, feather them all.


it reminds me of the scene in I think "Moscow on the Hudson," when Robin Williams' character was in the grocery store, he was overwhelmed.

setnaffa said...

Look up Stalin and the kulaks.

Manty Five said...

And in Zimbabwe, there is now almost no food except through the government, and you need to show your ZANU-PF party card to get any.

Lest we forget.

Methadras said...

Why this sub-human shithole known as the DPRK is allowed to exist is beyond me. Cowardice from all involved.

bagoh20 said...

"Freedom, in Shin's mind, was just another word for grilled meat."

If you think about who has little respect for freedom and who likes meat, you realize that yes, yes it is Mr. Shin. Enjoy, congratulations, and good luck.

Lonetown said...

LOL. I thought the epa was stopping a barbecue.

Paranoia? give them time.

Rusty said...

Seeing Red said...
Control the means of production, energy, farmers markets, cut veggies is a biohazard, control what's grown in your own back yard,

and the republicans helped.

tar, feather them all.


it reminds me of the scene in I think "Moscow on the Hudson," when Robin Williams' character was in the grocery store, he was overwhelmed.



Military analysts have theorized that if there is an invasion of the south by the north, it will actually be a mass desertion by the North Korean Army in search of food.

wef said...

Shin had government-supported health care, didn't he?

More anti-government carping from the one-percenters.

zastros said...

Maybe that's the best psy-ops possible for Korea. Set up BBQ's on the border and hope for prevailing winds.

AllenS said...

Wait until Shin Dong-hyuk gets to this country and finds out that Michelle Obama has other ideas about what he's to eat.

Alex said...

Sounds like this guy has a disordered relation to eating, maybe he should be put in an re-education camp.

One Free Korea said...

Meanwhile, in New York, the Associated Press and North Korea's state "news" agency are co-sponsoring a Kim Il Sung propaganda exhibition, at an art gallery owned by a member of the board of Directors of ... Human Rights Watch.

The watchdogs need watchdogs.

Ross MacLochness said...

I remember reading "Breaking with Moscow" by Soviet diplomat Arkady Shevchenko.

It's been a long time, but I seem to remember him speaking of his arrival in New York and seeing oranges and apples displayed on the street, and his thinking that if that scene were replayed in Moscow, the produce would be gone in second.

I believe I remember his talking about a visit to an American supermarket, and shelves packed with food fading into the distance, and thinking of the Soviet government, "What have we done to our people?"

John Lynch said...

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to chew.