North Korean Defector to Speak at DePauw

On October 5, 2015, the youngest Ubber speaker will be at the Green Kresge Center at DePauw University. I first read of the upcoming visit by human rights activist and author Yeonmi Park in the news media section of DePauw’s online website.

Sword Rattling While People Hunger
It is significant that North Korea’s dictator is again assembling his army and threatening South Korea with war, as conditions worsen for the people of North Korea still trapped there.

Yeonmi Park is 21 and has already lived through more atrocities and deprivation than she should have experienced in two lifetimes. She has written a non-fiction book, “In Order to Survive”, which details her escape from North Korea through China and Mongolia. Her parents, formerly imprisoned and destitute, sought achievement of family asylum and freedom in neighboring South Korea. She and her mother crossed frozen lakes among human traffickers and endured incredibly demeaning treatment, fear and exhaustion. Her father had stayed behind due to cancer, not wanting to slow them down. He later joined them, but did not survive the Chinese mountains and Yeonmi and her mother buried him there. He died of cancer without pain medication in snow covered foreign mountains in order to find freedom from his own North Korean government.

Park received a standing ovation after being introduced by James Chau at last year’s One Young World Summit:

 

Odyssey for Independence Never Before Known
After frozen mountains of China, the mother and daughter came into forces of different guides and enablers until Christian missionaries helped them enter Mongolia. They appealed to the South Korean embassy but due to the strife of the area, Yeonmi and her mother had to hide or be discovered and returned to North Korea where they’d face retribution.

The area’s humanitarian aids working undercover assisted them in achieving South Korean embassy’s asylum. Yeonmi declares, “For the first time in my lifetime, I own me.” Today she is a student in South Korea in her 3rd year at university studying criminal justice. Awards and accolades have been bestowed upon Yeonmi since stepping up to the humanitarian platform and speaking to the entire world. However, Yeonmi regrets the attention the world pays instead to Kim Jong Un’s eyebrows and appearance, a disheartening hurdle to overcome as an activist.

She states, “He killed 80 people in one day for watching a South Korean movie or [sic] with the Bible,” she notes, “Crazily, we are talking about Kim Jong Un’s appearance– nobody asks, ‘where are the North Korean people who died?'”

“It’s the same thing as the Holocaust,” she notes, a crime against humanity widely ignored while it went on. “We ignored it, and we said ‘never again,’ but now it’s happening again, and we are ignoring it.”

Gmail Goes Dark in China, Google Issues Statement Claiming All is Clear on Their End

Gmail has gone black in China, according to sources. Inside sources claim that Gmail usage has been spotty since the beginning of December in the Asian country, but many users were still able to utilize Gmail services through phone apps. As of Friday, however, apps appear to have stopped responding as well.

Google has released an official statement regarding the issue. The company claims there is no problem on their end for Chinese users of the Gmail client, or Google. The statement stops short of blaming the Chinese government for the outage, but certainly implies it.

According to Insiders, the Chinese government may be attempting to eliminate Google’s influence in the nation. China has one of the leading Firewalls, blocking a plethora of websites and content from end users.

A member of Greatfire.org, a website dedicated to firewalls and outages, claims that Google and Gmail usage took a sharp downturn around the 26th of December, and remains at zero. Leading up to the outage, Gmail service had been spotty with significant spikes and lulls in usage.

Some with international relations ties like Igor Cornelsen are concerned that the Chinese outage could have global ramifications. China, which is a leading manufacturing center, has clients around the globe, and many use Gmail to communicate. If China does not allow the use of Gmail, global users will likely be forced to switch to alternative e-mail clients to communicate. This could have far reaching ramifications for Google and its subsidiaries.

Jindal Makes Statements on Foreign Policy

Jindal is a likely contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and he made an effort to clarify his positions.

There is a clear divide between the majority opinion in the Republican Party and the opinions of newcomers like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul when it comes to interventionism.

Jindal mentioned that America must seek peace through strength, not lead from behind, use coalitions to accomplish its goals when feasible, and must not become “the world’s policemen.” He said that we cannot afford to retreat from the world they way Obama did when he pulled our troops out of Iraq. Iraq and Syria became unstable and savaged by ISIS due to Obama’s retreat, Jindal explained. Jindal pointed out that often we end up paying a higher price in “treasure and blood” when we retreat from crucial battlefields and have to come back later to defeat a stronger enemy. 

Rand Paul and the new non-interventionist wing of the GOP might agree with much of what Jindal uttered, but would likely apply it differently. There would be fewer battles found worthy of committing American troops to winning with someone like Paul at the helm.