This Friday afternoon, February 3rd, Robert Park, the former U.S. detainee who has become a tireless campaigner against human rights abuses being committed in North Korea, will hold a press conference in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul, South Korea. At that time, he will formally announce his intention to press charges against the country for the torture he endured during his 43 days of captivity.
Park crossed illegally into North Korea from China on December 25, 2009 to protest against genocide and crimes against humanity taking place within the country. The missionary has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), continues to suffer frequent nightmares, flashbacks and has attempted suicide twice as a result of trauma incurred in North Korea.
Members of the USS Pueblo who were tortured in North Korea (1968) successfully sued the DPRK in US courts in 2009, with a federal judge awarding them $65 million in damages.
Park also hopes to work with Samantha Power, senior director for multilateral affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, to discuss convincing national governments to invoke the “responsibility to protect.” He says he is not interested in reaping any personal rewards from a financial settlement. He has promised instead to donate all such monies to anti-Pyongyang organizations.
This past Christmas, on the two-year anniversary of Park‘s entry into North Korea, a special fundraising album of his original songs, “Love is Stronger than Death,” was released by Nanoum Records.