Friday, February 26, 2010

A message from Robert Park?

The following  is from Tom Conyer's site. He says he can't vouch for the message's authenticity, but since it's from Dr Norbert Vollertsen (the German who has been working so hard to take down the DPRK regime), Mr Conyer says he thinks it may be authentic:
Am very sorry to you. This is my first direct email --- I have been tormented and I apologize for my insane behaviour lately. A friend has been managing my email account.

I don't call people easily because of my spiritual condition --- I've had bouts of rage and intense temptations to kill myself (because of inner torture) since leaving DPRK.

Here is what I need by tomorrow evening, if you can help me:

DPRK flag, lighter

A notebook of picture evidence of the North Korean Human Rights Crisis and Genocide (I will be going through the pages while speaking in the interview)

Two Signs:


And if this is authentic, I think we're seeing a clearer picture of a disturbed person, as many of us have long suspected. While it's noble to draw attention to the plight of North Korean refugees, Mr Park's actions seem more a cry for help than a call to action.

It occurred to me after posting this that, particularly given the apparently sensitive nature of Mr Park's condition, it may have come across as callous, insensitive, or even detrimental to Mr Park's well-being for me to have posted this private email for all to see.

Had this been sent to me privately, at which point it was not in the public sphere, I would not have posted it to my site, at least not without permission. This was a protocol I followed with Lisa Ling's recent email to me, and it stems from my staunch belief that even public figures do not deserve to have all the details of their private lives plastered across public spaces. The public does not have a right to strip away the personal privacy of a famous person just because they're famous.

But I decided it was okay to go ahead with this because it was already in the public sphere. I got it from Tom Conyer's site, and he got it from someone who, apparently, sent it to a number of places. I don't know if Norbert Vollertsen had permission to spread the email, or if he was in fact the person who did so, but that is an issue between Mr Park and Dr Vollertsen.

I have been a harsh critic of Mr Park's actions, but I do not wish any ill upon him, and if he is as troubled as this email makes him sound — whether that began before, during, or after his trip to the DPRK — I sincerely hope he gets the love and help that he needs. My prayers are with him.

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