On November 13, a 24-year-old North Korean soldier, known only by his surname Oh, commandeered a jeep and sped toward the De-Militarized Zone that for 64 years has separated his communist homeland from the democratic capitalist south.
As he approached the border, the young man abandoned the vehicle and scrambled on foot toward the line of control. North Korean soldiers began firing on him. He was hit five or six times before collapsing onto South Korean ground. Transported to a hospital in Suwon, near Seoul, doctors performed emergency surgery.
Oh risked everything to live in freedom. He has joined the ranks of other defectors, refugees, and exiles that fled oppression for the chance of a life free of tyrannical control. From the Berlin Wall, to Vietnamese and Cuban boat people, to the DMZ, the prisoners of communism run in only one direction: toward liberty and self-government, toward the bounty of the marketplace and the possibilities of representative democracy.