American Kid To Meet NKorean President Kim Jong Il For A Peace Project

American Kid To Meet NKorean President Kim Jong Il For A Peace Project

Amory : MS : USA | Aug 12, 2010 at 12:16 AM PDT
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An American kid wants to give North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il a visit this week to discuss his plan for a "children's peace forest" in the demilitarized zone.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The Amnok River and the Tumen River form the border between North Korea and People's Republic of China. A section of the Tumen River in the extreme northeast is the border with Russia.

Currently there is tension in the region after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March was blamed on the North, and military drills were held recently between South Korea and the United States in response. The North repeatedly has denied attacking the South's warship.

Associated Press reported that the 13-year old Jonathan Lee is scheduled to fly to Pyongyang on Thursday from Beijing with his parents. North Korean officials in Beijing gave them visas last Wednesday.

Jonathan, who was born in South Korea and lives in Mississippi, said he expects to meet with North Korean officials and will propose the children's peace forest, "one in which fruit and chestnut trees would be planted and where children can play."

Lee's mother, Melissa admits that the idea sounds crazy, saying, "When he first said, 'I think we need to go to North Korea,' I looked at my husband and said, 'What?' It was a radical idea."

The idea for the visit to the North startled Jonathan's father, Kyoung Lee, who was born and raised in South Korea and now lives with his family in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

"When growing up, I was always taught, don't talk to or associate with any North Korean people, so this is kind of shocking for me that my son wants to go in," Kyoung Lee said.

North Korea is a single-party state under a united front led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP).The country's government follows the Juche ideology of self-reliance, developed by the country's former President, Kim Il-Sung. After his death, Kim Il-Sung was declared to be the country's Eternal President. Juche became the official state ideology when the country adopted a new constitution in 1972,though Kim Il-sung had been using it to form policy since at least as early as 1955. Officially a socialist republic,many media organizations outside North Korea report that it is a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship.Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung have constructed around them a cult of personality. It is reported as having one of the world's worst human rights records. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a famine which killed an estimated 2-3 million people. Due to the government's secretive nature and its reluctance to allow in foreigners, North Korea is today considered the world's most isolated country. The current secretary of the KWP Central Committee Secretariat and leader of the armed forces is Kim Jong-il, son of Kim Il-sung.

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