Wednesday, September 29, 2004

North Korean refugees

Heres a link to the CNN story about the asylum seekers

just one more thing to add to the ever growing list of North Korean topics. One of the refugees says "We have nothing to eat in North Korea," she said. "Life is very hard. We all want to go to South Korea." The story goes on to mention that in the long run, they will probably end up in South Korea. According to what was discussed in class, we have a country that has nuclear capabilities and now humanitarian issues. When are we (the international community) going to do something about it?


Mike Borrelli said...

Not only when, but what will we do? That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?

But things are getting a little better with relations between North & South, that I've noticed. They used to talk about turning Soul into a "sea of fire", but now they talk about turning Japan into a "sea of nuclear fire". I figure this is an indication of warming relations on the peninsula.

I still wonder if the Sunshine Policy can actually work though. Would the South be willing, or even able to, cope with a union of the two states? Is there some way to solve the humanitarian crisis without a reunification?

I'm not really sure that this is anything that's been "added" to the list, though. The DPRK survives off of donated foodstuffs, and has for quite sometime. The problem is that with their 'Songun' or 'Army First' policy, it really means, "[the] Army [eats] First."

Bob Martin said...

With regards to people moving to South Korea, this brings up the issue, that if unification were to be achieved in the future, would South Korea be inundated with northern refugees? In my intro to Comparative Politics class, we discussed the reunification of Germany the other day, with comments coming up about prevailing sectional differences. Many in the western regions of Germany are disgruntled because so much money is allocated to help the economically struggling eastern regions. It's possible that Korea might experience the same thing, hypothetically.

Mike Borrelli said...

Exactly, Bob. And I think that when the North and South do get reunited that it will end up being much, much worse than the reunification of East and West Germany was. I wonder particularly about how the million man army is going to get reintegrated into society, or how the two disparate histories of the states are going to be reconciled in people's heads.