Tortured missionary begs Trump not to go to war with North Korea

(Reuters/Reuters TV)Robert Park, a U.S. Christian missionary, walked across the frozen Tumen River into North Korea on Christmas Day 2009 to raise awareness about Pyongyang's human rights abuses. Park was detained by North Korea and eventually released about one and a half months later.

A Korean-American missionary has begged U.S. President Donald Trump not to go to war with North Korea as it could kill countless civilians, including the large number of underground Christians living there.

In an open letter to Trump published by The Korea Herald last week, Robert Park, a former prisoner in North Korea under the Kim Jong-il regime, begged the U.S. president to ensure that no ordinary people would get hurt when he makes a decision regarding the repressive regime.

"It's been brought to my attention that persons who have advised you and are within your administration profess to be Christians. Please kindly be reminded that a large number of underground Christians are within North Korea. They are the most persecuted religious group in the world, according to multiple watchdogs of religious rights internationally," Park wrote.

"As I pray your team accepts upon deep reflection, it would be decidedly un-Christian to countenance indiscriminate killings of those who are among the people in the world who suffer the most," he continued.

Park was brutally tortured by North Korean authorities in 2009 after he was caught illegally crossing the frozen Tumen River into North Korea on Christmas Day to protest against human rights violations.

Despite the abuses he endured, he continued preaching the Gospel and even told his captors "God loves you."

After his release in February 2010, Park continued speaking out against North Korea's various human rights abuses.

In his letter, he noted that he has been "profoundly wounded and suffered loss on an incalculable and irretrievable scale" due to his attempts to call attention to North Korea's abuses. He warned that thousands of Christians are believed to be detained in prison camps near facilities where weapons of mass destruction are kept, and many lives will potentially be lost if the U.S. launches a strike on those sites.

He contended that the North Korean crisis could be solved by "reaching out to the general populace of North Korea in sympathy and supporting their internal unseating of Kim Jong Un — one individual."

He suggested that those efforts should be accompanied by the freeing of all political prisoners in the country, which he said could be achieved by negotiating with North Koreans who could assume interim administrative responsibilities after the peaceful ouster of Kim Jong Un.

Park's plea came at a time when serious concerns are being raised over a potential war between the U.S. and North Korea.

U.S. General James Mattis has previously warned that the Communist regime could face "total annihilation" if it continues its provocative nuclear missile testing.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the Trump administration plans to continue pursuing diplomacy "until the first bomb drops."

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has lashed out against the U.S. because of the recent U.N. sanctions, that were intended at crippling the state's economy.

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