News / Asia

    North Korean Defectors Ask to Help Fight Their Former Homeland

    Members of the NKPLF reading petition before submitting it to the S Korean Defense Ministry
    Members of the NKPLF reading petition before submitting it to the S Korean Defense Ministry

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Since the November 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong island, there has been rising anger in South Korea. Many South Koreans are angry at what they consider their government's mild response to the attack, which killed four people. Among those who want tougher action is a group of North Korean defectors.

    North Korean defectors speak up

    North Korean defectors who served in the communist state's military are asking to be allowed to take on their former comrades.

    A group called the North Korea Peoples Liberation Front on Monday delivered a petition to the South Korean defense ministry. They want permission to become a special force to help end the communist government in the North.

    Members of the North Korea Peoples Liberation Front at a briefing in Seoul
    Members of the North Korea Peoples Liberation Front at a briefing in Seoul

    Kim Seong-min is the organization's chairman. Kim says if they are given rifles, they will march to the front lines, such as Yeonpyeong island, which was hit by North Korean shells last month.

    Park Chun-guk says he is a former commander of a North Korean special forces division.

    Park says a thief knows what other thieves might do. Likewise, he says, the former North Korean soldiers understand the situation in the North, as well as the tactics and the mindset of its soldiers.

    Park was among several former North Korean soldiers at a briefing in Seoul on Monday. They gave details about the unit that fired on Yeongpyeong last month. They also said many of their former colleagues were trained to infiltrate Seoul and other cities to neutralize critical targets, including air and sea ports, to wreck South Korea's economy in the event of hostilities.

    Defectors outlook

    The defectors predict North Korea's provocations against the South will continue. That is because heir apparent Kim Jong Un needs to demonstrate credibility as a leader, much as his father, Kim Jong Il, did in the 1980's before succeeding his late father, Kim Il Sung.

    Former North Korean soldiers, who have joined a resistance group, briefing reporters
    Former North Korean soldiers, who have joined a resistance group, briefing reporters

    More than 20,000 defectors from the North live in South Korea.

    The two Koreas have remained technically at war since 1953 when three years of conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

    Tension between the two has been high since the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March. An international investigation concluded that the Cheonan was hit by a North Korean torpedo, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang denies any involvement.

    The North, however, did acknowledge last month's shelling of Yeonpyeong. It says the attack was justified because a South Korean military exercise on the island fired shells into disputed waters off the west coast.

    South Korea is conducting a second consecutive week of live-fire exercises. Officials have not confirmed whether any firing will take place in the disputed maritime region.

    Pyongyang says such exercises, along with recent naval maneuvers the United States has conducted with South Korea and Japan, are bringing the Korean peninsula closer to war.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora