Jonathan Lee returned Thursday from an eight-day visit to the reclusive country during which he was taken on a tour of the DMZ. A hoped-for meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il did not materialize, although Lee said the officials forwarded to Kim a letter from him.
"On this trip, I discovered that both sides want reunification and that Korea is one, so I see hope on the Korean peninsula," Lee, who made the visit with his parents, Kyoung and Melissa Lee, told The Associated Press.
Impoverished North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world and its hard-line communist regime is under United Nations sanctions for launching missiles and refusing to comply with nuclear weapons inspections. Since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a cease-fire and not an armistice, the U.S., South Korea and North Korea remain technically at war.
Lee, of Ridgeland, Mississippi, said the officials told him his proposed children's forest was dependent on North Korea first signing a peace treaty with the United States to formally end the war — a longstanding demand of Pyongyang's.
Who the fuck would want to visit North Korea and request an interview with Kim Jong Il? I'm all for outreach programs to understand other cultures and see other cultures in different locations, but North Korea woudn't be at the top of my list of places to see while i'm alive.