Deliberately Arrested: How Ro Su-hui and the North Korean Government Orchestrated the Event


About a month ago, Reunification of the Fatherland Vice-Chairman Ro Su-hui from South Korea tried to cross the border from North Korea but was immediately held and arrested by the South Korean authorities as soon as both of his feet stepped on South Korea’s territory. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which is controlled by the North Korean government, deemed the act fascist on their Facebook page. In another report of the event, the KCNA added a demand from the North Korean regime that Ro Su-hui be sent back to North Korea.

Here is a link to the video of the apparently blatantly orchestrated crossing of the border. The two Koreas are technically still at war since after the ceasefire Armistice was signed in 1953. For this and other factors, the border between the two countries is arguably the most militarized in the world, despite the paradox that it is referred to as a demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Why do I conclude that Ro Su-hui’s crossing was blatantly orchestrated?

The first reason that comes to mind is the crossing itself. At Panmunjom, there are two lines. The first one is the line behind the North Korean soldier to the left of the very beginning of this propaganda clip. People from the north side of the border are not allowed to cross it, or they risk getting shot and killed by the North Korean soldiers by the time they get to the second line. This is also one of the reasons why there are North Korean soldiers looking toward the North – an effort to prevent any defection to the South – unseen on the south side of the border. Notice also that the crowd in this propaganda clip never crosses the first line. The second line is the concrete platform in the middle of the blue buildings. This is the de-facto border between the two countries. Even if a defector manages to cross that line, it is argued that the soldiers from the South – both Americans and South Koreans – will shoot and kill them be it for security or for other reasons. Yet, Ro Su-hui crossed the border calmly and was immensely cheered by the North Korean crowd, besides also having not been stopped by the North Korean soldiers – another apparent example of how the privileged are treated in the Secret State, as opposed to the rest of the population.

The second reason for my conclusion is the proportion of males and females at the event. According to my rough estimate, at least 75 percent of the cheering crowd is comprised of women. Whether this is aimed at making the event look more peaceful and innocent remains unknown to me. Women usually dominate in numbers when it comes to dancing and singing in North Korea in front of tourists, as numerous videos on Youtube would show it to be the case. This is a government tactic to portray their country as peaceful and paradisiac, and Ro Su-hui’s crossing is a great opportunity to spread the North Korean government’s message of having peace and harmony all over its territory to the rest of the world.

And here comes the third reason to conclude that Ro Su-hui’s crossing was blatantly orchestrated. South Korea’s National Security Law criminalizes any glorifying of North Korea’s political system, among other prohibitions. It reportedly dates back to the early 1950s. The North Korean government is aware of the National Security Law in South Korea, yet it lets its “friend” enter his homeland which is South Korea. This is apparently a provocation from the North aimed at brainwashing its own people, and potentially ignorant people all over the world, into believing that the South is “fascist,” allegedly in an effort to sustain the regime for a longer time, which is what I have always argued North Korea is all about.

Meanwhile, crossing the border from North Korea to China or South Korea, unless completely authorized by the North Korean government, is considered national treason which is punishable by hard labor and torture for life to the defector as well as to all of their relatives for generations to come. In some cases defectors even end up being publicly executed for the same reason as pointed out above – to sustain the regime – but in a different way: by instilling fear among the rest of the population from any action that is not in accordance to the North Korean regime.






Filed under Civil Rights and Liberties, Politics

8 responses to “Deliberately Arrested: How Ro Su-hui and the North Korean Government Orchestrated the Event

  1. John Doe

    Are you trying to tell that north korean government orchestrated the arrest of this man, that occured just as he crossed the border back to South Korea???
    How could the DPRK government give orders to south korean government employees???

  2. Everything that happened on their side of the border was orchestrated by them is what I am saying. Everything! They were pretty aware of what their South Korean counterparts would do, so they took advantage of provoking the South Koreans. Does that make it clearer for you?

  3. John Doe

    Even if that is true, I don’t get the point in criticize it. The hostile treatment he received by the government employees paid by him and all south korean people is the despicable act that should wake indignation.

  4. What about the hostile treatment that the vast majority of North Koreans are receiving every day just for having been born there? If crossing the line is OK for him, crossing the line should be OK for everyone else. Do you see where I am driving at? Should just because he is “someone” give the South Korean government a good reason to cheer him as the North Korean largely involuntary puppets did? Why was he not shot like everyone was going to be shot if they were doing what he did is also a relevant question that I discussed and that you are dodging.

  5. John Doe

    I have to agree with you in the fact that bordering issues are difficult, but not only from the north side, as the facts show. He wasn’t shot because he’s a link between the two Koreas, he’s in for peace and is leading an unification movement, two things which DPRK government is interested in. North Korean government gave him honorable treatment, as they do with their people. On the other hand, the response of South Korean government is only a clear display of the interest of them in providing peace or unification for the people of Korea.

  6. Are you serious? Get more acquainted with the conflict between North Korea and South Korea. North Korea wants unification on their terms (imagine North Korea but in South Korea too), South Korea wants unification on their terms (democratization, free-market economy, free flow of information and so on). Ro Su-hui is as “leader” for unification of the two Koreas as Alejandro Cao de Benos is. Whoever is for unification of the two Koreas but maintains friendly ties with North Korea is in actuality pro-North Korean, and the North Korean government would do whatever they can to maintain that person’s opinion. You should know this very clearly. The North Korean government is not interested in a unification that does not include application of their tyranny over their own people. Otherwise it will be over with the Kim Dynasty and the ruling elite in Pyongyang. That being said, if South Koreans become the North Korean government’s own people – South Koreans should say goodbye to the Internet, television, newspapers, radio, and any religion that they might have (except for Juche and the Kim Dynasty – they are the gods that have to be believed in, otherwise you go to concentration camps), among other things. Needless to say, no sane South Korean who has no ties with the North Korean government would accept that.

  7. John Doe

    What about the South Korean tyranny qualifying “encouragement and praise of the north” as a felony… that’s pretty democratic, I guess. As North Korea is despotic in some aspects, South Korea doesn’t do any different. When you get caught in jail just because you sympathize with anything that comes from the north… that is also a violation of human rights, specifically freedom of speech. We can expect that from an openly communist government, but a country that does the same under the banners of modern capitalism, democracy and liberal economy… that’s just hypocrisy.

  8. This is the only aspect where you can say that the South Korean government is tyrannical or hypocritical. However, don’t focus on this but on the very crossing of the border itself – who can cross the border and who cannot cross the border.

    And in your previous comment you mentioned that the North Korean government is interested in unification and peace. I agree with the first part (if you add “on their terms” as in – imposing the same dictatorship as they are imposing on their own people) but there is no way I can agree with you on the peace part.

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