Joseph Kim, Associate and Expert-in-Residence, Freedom and Democracy at the Bush Institute, shares how his life in North Korea shaped his perspective of freedom.
“I spent half of my life in North Korea and the other half in the United States. Having lived with and without freedom, to me freedom means life. Because life without freedom is a mere existence, not a living.
Everyone’s definition of living can be different, but all definitions of living should include caring for others. The ability to care for others is what makes us human and is the greatest gift for humanity.
It is in our best interest to preserve and defend that gift. Sometimes we do well, and sometimes we don’t. Because of our flawed nature, and that is why I believe while democracy is not perfect, it is the best political system that allows us to preserve, protect and defend freedom at home and abroad.
I believe that the best way to protect our freedom is to share it with people who are not yet free.”