Seoul USA founder and Chief Executive Officer Rev. Eric Foley says both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can advocate a disarmingly simple approach yet untried in international diplomacy: Holding North Korea accountable to its own constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion for its citizens.
“North Korea’s recent announcement that it can reach the U.S. mainland with ballistic missiles garnered much media attention,” says Foley. “But overlooked in the media and the presidential debates is North Korea’s role as the world’s leading persecutor of Christians. Rather than ignoring North Korea or responding with more rhetoric, the international community can hold Pyongyang accountable to the laws it already espouses. The greatest single bellwether of change in North Korea would come from enforcing NK’s constitutional freedom of religion, opening the door for North Korea’s citizens and leaders to come to new insights into the purpose of their lives and their country.”
Foley is author of the new book, These are the Generations, which details the faith of the Bae family— underground Christians forced to endure persecution and imprisonment in the most restricted nation on earth. Mr. Bae’s parents are among an estimated 30,000 Christians currently held in North Korean concentration camps because of their faith.
Foley believes American Christians will be watching the candidate’s foreign policy debate in anticipation of a thoughtful dialogue on North Korea and a commitment to the religious freedom rights of the country’s Christians.
*Interviews may be arranged by contacting Tim Dillmuth at Seoul USA. Printed copies of Foley’s new book, These Are The Generations, and a press kit are available on request. Bios of the author and the Baes, a North Korea fact sheet, and translated video and audio clips from an interview with Mr. Bae are available for download at http://www.seoulusa.org/