by WorldTribune Staff, July 26, 2023
A member of South Korea’s National Assembly who lost an arm and a leg in his harrowing journey to escape from North Korea is sounding the alarm on what he calls a deceptive attempt by pro-North Korea operatives aimed at removing “all U.S. military bases and forces from the Asia-Pacific region — even Hawaii.”
In a July 25 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Ji Seong-Ho writes: “A coalition of self-styled peace groups are planning a ‘National Mobilization to End the Korean War’ in Washington this week — a conference, a rally and lobbying meetings with my counterparts in the U.S. House and Senate.”
The coalition already has some U.S. lawmakers on board. California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman’s Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act has 33 co-sponsors.
The coalition’s claim of driving for peace, however, “is a deception,” Li wrote for the Journal. “Both the mobilization and the legislation promote the North’s demand that the U.S. sign an unconditional peace agreement. Pro-Pyongyang groups are parroting the regime’s ‘hostile policy’ refrain — that tensions on the Korean Peninsula result from U.S.-South Korean military exercises, the presence of U.S. troops in Korea, and U.S. economic sanctions.”
One of the main organizers of the coalition, Christine Ahn of Women Cross DMZ, has said that she is “trying to liberate Korea” from “the yoke of U.S. imperialism” and that America is “the world’s aggressor and empire.”
International relations analyst Anthony W. Holmes noted in a July 26 LinkedIn post that Ahn is “well known in the U.S. community of DPRK experts. She styles herself a ‘woman, peace, and security’ advocate. Speaking to ideologically friendly audiences, she is a radical who argues for U.S. abandonment of South Korea, Japan, and the Pacific as a whole. She favors a DPRK takeover of the South.”
When speaking to American audiences, Holmes noted that Ahn “is much more restrained — arguing we just need to ‘give peace a chance.’ This dichotomy has allowed her and her radical pro-North movement to meet with members of #Congress and support Rep. Brad Sherwood’s seriously misguided and ahistorical ‘Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act’ (HR 3446, 117th Congress).”
Ji, a member of South Korea’s National Assembly representing the People Power Party (PPP), noted:
“This issue is personal for me. I was born in North Korea in 1982. In 1996 my family and I were close to death from starvation. To survive, I had to scavenge bits of coal from freight trains, which I would sell to buy food on the black market. When I passed out from hunger on the railroad tracks, a train ran over me and almost totally severed my left leg and arm, which both had to be amputated without anesthesia or antibiotics.
“In 2006 I fled on crutches and traveled thousands of miles across China and Southeast Asia before reaching South Korea. I defected and in 2020 was elected to the National Assembly.
“As I made my way to freedom, I couldn’t have imagined that in South Korea and the U.S. there are people and organizations who favor the North Korean regime. Their long-term goal is the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea. That would likely lead to Korean reunification on Kim Jong-Un’s terms.”
“As one who escaped the dystopian nightmare state that is North Korea and is now blessed to live in freedom, I have an obligation to warn my American friends. South Korea has lived securely for 70 years thanks to the alliance with the U.S. and the stabilizing presence of its troops, which the vast majority of Koreans support. Americans shouldn’t grant legitimacy to pro-Pyongyang extremists who regard the U.S. as a force for evil.”