문: 마지막으로 북한을 방문한 것이 언제였고 또 어떤 인상을 받았습니까?
답: In August of 1998. North Korea is a very poor country, where 2 million people have starved to death between 1995 and 1998. It’s a country where food availability is quite restricted and many families have seen their grandparents commit suicide because of the lack of food. Hospitals in North Korea are really hospices, places to die. Most of the hospitals I was in in North Korea had no x-rays, no food, no aspirin. Korea is a country that needs agricultural reform so more people can be fed. It’s also a country that shows the best of the United States because America feeds one-third of all North Koreans. Today, seven million people in North Korea will be fed by food donated to the United Nations from America. The United States feeds every North Korean under the age of fifteen and we hope one day North Korea can reform itself so that we don’t need to feed all these kids, but as long as they need America’s help, we will help them.
문: 북한은 1995년 기아 사태가 시작된 이후 외부로 부터 식량 원조를 지금까지 계속 받아왔습니다. 그런데 북한 정부는 식량 기근이 악천후 탓이라고 말하고 있습니다. 이에 동의하십니까?
답: No. N. Korean has never been able to feed itself. It is an industrial country and it always depended on selling its industrial products overseas in return for food. Prior to 1945 North Korea was part of the world’s market, eh, prior to the Japanese occupation, it was part of the world market. As a soviet block member it sold its products to the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, North Korea sold its products to China but as the economic collapse of North Korea took hold North Korean goods were no longer wanted, and the communist countries, since they were no longer communist, no longer wanted to buy and North Korea ended in economic spiral downward. There has been a great reliance on Juche, self-reliance, in North Korean, but Juche is a path to poverty for North Korea. North Korean needs to open its markets up to the outside world and to allow farmers to grow whatever they wish and to allow farmers markets to operate wherever its convenient. And if we make those changes North Korea will feed itself again and North Korea will not depend on food aid from the United States.
문: 유엔 식량 계획, WFP는 예기치 않은 지원 부족으로 이달에 북한에 대한 식량 원조를 삭감할 것이라고 발표했습니다. 그러나 미국은 연례적인 행사가 되고 있는 북한의 인도주의적 위기를 경감시키도록 돕기 위한 원조 약속을 꾸준히 지키고 있습니다. 미국이 앞으로 대북한 원조를 강화할 필요가 있을 것으로 보십니까?
답: Yes. Because I think the children of North Korean depend on America. When you see the average South Korean child of age twelve and compared to the average North Korean child of age twelve, the South Korean child who is better fed will be taller, stronger and perform better in school and that is simply because the South Korean child has more food. If we do not help North Korea we risk losing a whole generation of children and Ronald Reagan said, “a hungry child knows no politics.” While we disagree with the North Korean government’s policies, we will not punish the children and we need to feed North Korea’s children to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
문: 북한의 인권 상황에 대해서는 어떻게 생각하십니까?
답: North Korea does not respect human rights. North Korea is largely one big prison country. North Korean operated “927” prison where hungry children in every RHEE (?) and every country were rounded up and put in jail. It’s probably the only country where a hungry child is arrested. North Korea has a very repressive one-party state. Nearly every other country in the world, even Russia, has free elections. But, North Korea is still against elections, but North Korea is running against the tide of history. We now have over 200,000 North Korean refugees in China, because if people cannot vote in the ballot box, they will vote with their feet and leave the country and we see that more and more as North Koreans looking for a better life leave North Korea.
문: 미국이 중국내 북한 난민들을 도와야 한다고 생각하십니까?
답: They should. I think that we have a great opportunity for good diplomacy. North Koreans who leave North Korea and enter China should be offered a welcomed place in South Korea or the United States. We should work with the Chinese, to promise the Chinese that the North Korean refugees will not remain in China but also will not be forcibly repatriated to a prison in North Korea. We should arranged for refugee processing center to be set up across the river in North Korea and those processing centers should take in refugees, give them initial hot meal and clothing and arrange for transportation either to South Korea or the United States.
문: 미국에는 현재 한국전 당시 북한에 두고 온 가족과 헤어져 사는 이산 가족이 50만명 정도가 살고 있는 것으로 추산되고 있습니다. 그러나 남북한 이산 가족과는 달리 미국내 한인 이산 가족들은 비공식 만남을 제외하고는 북한의 가족들을 전혀 만날수 없는 실정입니다. 미국 국회에서 혹시 이 문제를 다룰 가능성은 없습니까?
답: We are. For many years the Republic of Korea has been talking to the DPRK about reunifying families and a very small number of families have been reunified in North Korea, and we thank the DPRK for allowing that. But we have half a million Korean Americans who have not been able to see their relatives in North Korea. We sent a petition to Secretary of State Colin Powell with 30,000 signatures on it saying that the United States should ask for reunification between Korean Americans and their North Korean relatives. I am also helping to raise money for humanitarian projects in North Korea, and we hope to approach the DPRK government and say, “if you will let us support hospitals, schools and nurseries, we will provide money. But we also want to be able to have Korean Americans meet their relatives in North Korea and we think this is a good deal for both sides, so the Korean Americans can see their relatives and we can have private fundraising to help North Korea here in the United States.”
문: 마지막으로 VOA가 대북한 방송을 강화해야 한다고 보십니까?
답: It should, because we see around the world that people that have access to many different channels of information are better educated and better informed. We know in Afghanistan that the Taliban controlled all media but 80% of Afghans listened the to Voice of America to get another view. We need that in North Korea as well because we want the North Korean people to be healthy, we want them to work hard, we want their children to be taken care of, and we think if people have better education and better information, we can lead to a better future in North Korea