Robert Park ended up in a mental hospital in Long Beach — he's got some personal issues that need to be taken care of — but a judge released him. Reporters asked him what he would do next, but instead of saying he was going to Disneyland, he gave them indication he is headed for South Korea and will journey to the DMZ:
Friends and family of Park are concerned after he apparently professed a desire to return to South Korea and take action at the DMZ, according to an e-mail from Suzanne Scholte, the chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC), sent to Jo Sung-rae, a friend and fellow activist of Park's.Holy effin' crap! This is a recipe for disaster. The man has marched into North Korea once already and one has every reason to expect he would try to do that again. The guy has no concern for his own safety and the safety of others, and the DMZ puts you in North Korean territory. And unlike Disneyland, there's no turnstile... you just keep walking.
"I am writing this email to specifically ask you that if he should arrive in Korea that you provide him with 24-hour prayer and personal protection," reads the e-mail that was forwarded to The Korea Times by another activist. "He spoke frequently while in Washington D.C. about wanting to take his own life and do something drastic at the DMZ."
In the e-mail, Scholte, who had been helping prepare a press conference for Park, said, "It became very clear to all of us that Robert was still suffering from the effects of the torture he experienced in North Korea...Because of our love for him, we should do all we can to shelter and protect him and make it possible for him to be cared for so that he could recover from all that he has been through."
And I seriously suspect that's what he will try to do. But the problem is that the DMZ is the kind of place where people get killed when someone tries to cross over from one side to the other without permission.
This guy is a loose cannon that is demonstrating that he is a danger to himself and others, and I suspect that he was like that before the North Koreans got hold of him. Instead of egging him on and calling him a hero for his actions, recognize that he needs to be reined in and possibly kept under surveillance in a place where he can't hurt himself.