Saturday, June 16, 2007

Update on NK Defectors

Four North Koreans who arrived by wooden boat at Japanese port two weeks ago left for South Korea on Saturday (June, 16).
They arrived at Japan on June 2 (they left NK on May 27). They told police they left Chongjin on the east coast of North Korea and headed south, but changed course due to heavy security and ended up at Fukaura in Japan's northern Aomori prefecture, 800 km (500 miles) to the east. Japanese government granted asylum for them according to its immigration law, and “North Korean human rights law” of 2006, which states that the government must take certain measures to protect and support defectors from North Korea.
Usually, it is rare for North Koreans to flee to Japan, and China used to be the first option for the North Korean defectors until now. But recently, China is becoming harsh on defectors as they put up wire entanglement along the shallow or narrow parts (where people can swim across) of Yalu and Tumen River and adopted a new measure to deport defectors back to North Korea (meaning…).


Christina Sin said...

Just a random question, but in the Martin reading on page 416 one defector says that the policy on families being sent to prison camps because of a family member's defection has changed. The defector claims that now when someone defects he/she is the only person who is considered a traitor and no one else. Is this true? Or does this only occur when the relatives are high ranking party officals?

Tom Fales said...

That is quite a sight. Can anyone else imagine traveling 500 miles on a boat that rickity and of such small size? It would be interesting to hear them elaborate on their reasons for leaving North Korea and what their lives were like there. I wonder which class they hail from, the Hostile or Wavering?

Eunmi said...

Regarding Christina's question, I am not sure about defector's case, but a defector of my review book said that family, specifically husband and wife can divorce when their spouse became criminal. If they do so, they don't get any affect from what their spouse did. However, if you don't divorce, then you will be in same trouble, too. It seems that the degree of penalty that children have to get is lesser.