Cardinal: Must Distinguish People from Regime

Cardinal Cheong Jin Suk said today, “We must distinguish the North Korean people from the regime.”

Speaking on a radio show of the Peace Broadcasting Company (PBC), he added, “The people of North Korea are indeed the brethren we have to take care of.”

Cardinal Cheong pointed out that, “Regarding the North Korean regime, it is not so easy to talk about,” adding, “The thing I can talk about with certainty is that there is no freedom of religion (in North Korea). Nobody knows how many Catholics are in North Korea. There are no priests and no nuns. The situation for Protestants is the same. It is sad. This is the situation of the North Korean people.”

He claimed, “Who is it who doesn’t recognize freedom of religion and blocks news from the outside? It is the North Korean regime. Why are the people of North Korea starving? Who is responsible for begging for rice? It’s not the people’s fault, but it’s the regime’s.” He reiterated, “Therefore, we must distinguish the people from the regime.”

The cardinal asserted, “We cannot give aid to the North Korean people through the North’s regime,” and added, “It is truly regrettable that we don’t have any other way to express our love for the people except through the North’s regime.”

He added that, “I ardently pray that God will look after the poor North Korean people and somehow prepare some way for them to be happy.”