Wednesday, February 5

BBC story on PUST

This is an expanded video version of a story I heard on the radio the other day. Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is where our son Kent taught English during the opening semester of the school. (He's now finishing the Master of Pacific International Affairs [MPIA] program at UC San Diego with a specialization in Korea.)

PUST is such a creative project designed for long-term positive change. Dr Kim, the hope-filled founder, is a great Christian visionary who has put his own life on the line because of his love of the people. And this is his second time through. He did the same thing during trying times in the People's Republic of China with the founding of Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) in the Korean speaking Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture.

In light of our lack of political, policy, and military success in dealing with the DPRK we need to try these more creative approaches -- in spite of the risks. And everyone involved is taking some risk. The DPRK knows that they are taking a risk by opening themselves to a cultural Trojan horse. And the Westerners know that they risk empowering tyrants for further oppression. But change never comes without calculated risk.

I'm grateful for the openness of the North Korean government to this kind of university. And I'm proud of all the foreigners who have gone to North Korea to try and build bridges of peace and understanding. You all have my admiration.

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