The Real North Korean Crisis: My CNN iReport

Kim Jong Un has flooded international news outlets in recent weeks.

The warmongering threats are nothing new to the Korean Peninsula. However, the situation causes me to worry about my family in Seoul, who would be in peril if Pyongyang were to attack (My entire family, except one set of cousins, lives in Seoul).

Me with some of my family at Mt. Seorak in 2011.
Me with some of my family at Mt. Seorak in 2011

CNN iReport gives everyday citizens opportunity to voice their opinion on current issues. This week, the station asked for Korean natives to offer their view on the current North Korean crisis. To me, this was a perfect opportunity to inform my colleagues on the travesty of their narrow scope of coverage. I pray that these words would bring awareness to the ignorance toward the real North Korean crisis.

Before I die, I pray for the privilege of walking on the soil of a unified, peaceful Korean Peninsula.
Before I die, I pray for the privilege of walking on the soil of a unified, peaceful Korean Peninsula.

My name is Derek Kim. I am a South Korean native who grew up on three different continents (Asia, Europe, North America). I am now a journalism student at Michigan State University, aspiring to produce news similar to the caliber of CNN. In my opinion, CNN’s international coverage is unparalleled.

However, I have noticed one critical mistake in the scope taken toward the recent North Korean threats.By focusing coverage solely on political issues, you give the North Korean regime exactly what they want: needless attention. Are you aware of the gulags? Are you aware, that right now, in that country, citizens are treated worse than cockroaches? Do you know that the majority of defectors in China are either sent back to North Korea or sold into sex trafficking? What about the fact that the Kim Regime has committed human rights atrocities equivalent to or worse than Nazi Germany?

Most people in America cannot relate to politics, however they relate to suffering. Barbarism will capture peoples’ attention more than the nuclear tantrum of a 28-year old boy. That is news that people will spark action.

Throughout history, action is taken when hearts are stirred. People relate to people. We, as journalists, have the incredible privilege of acting as the force that could potentially change the world. Please, on behalf of the Korean people who seek peace on both sides of the 38th parallel, I ask that you would get the word out on the real North Korean crisis.


Derek Kim
Michigan State University School of Journalism

Author: Derek Kunhee Kim (김건희/金健熙)

Pilgrim in Process. Univ. of San Diego Law. Retired Compassion Intern + Michigan State Tracklete. Novi HS Alumnus. Author of Four Years, Two Roads. Aspirant Polyglot.

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