Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Defectors Face New Challenges as the Olympic Torch Relay Continues in China

Emir had posted a while back about the Olympic Torch passing through North Korea. Not surprisingly, it was met with beautifully arranged festivities. The same is not true of the rest of the world. Protests have followed the torch throughout its world tour and have not entirely settled since it has reached China. The torch now continues to travel throughout China as part of the Mainland China Torch Relay and the latest concern for many people, especially in South Korea, is the treatment of North Korean defectors. The Mainland China Torch Relay is to hit every province, including the Jilin Province which borders North Korea. The city chosen to welcome the torch is Yanji, an interesting choice because its population largely consists of North Korean defectors. Chinese officials are now staging large-scale resident registration investigation in preparation for the torch’s July 19th arrival in Yanji. Though the investigation is not specifically targeting defectors, many have been arrested or are forced to spend this next month in hiding. This article explains further.

I would like to hope that this situation will increase world-wide awareness of the defector problem, as is true of Tibet. However, it does not seem like either China or North Korea isready to change its ways, no matter the amount of worldwide criticisms.

No comments: