News / Asia

    Protesters Call on China to Stop Forced Repatriation

    South Korean activists stage a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul urging Beijing to stop repatriating refugees who flee hunger or repression in North Korea. About 30 activists including former refugees chanted slogans like "Stop forced repatriat
    South Korean activists stage a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul urging Beijing to stop repatriating refugees who flee hunger or repression in North Korea. About 30 activists including former refugees chanted slogans like "Stop forced repatriat

    Activists concerned about the plight of North Koreans are holding demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in several countries Thursday. They want Beijing to end what they term is a brutal policy of sending refugees back to North Korea. They say those repatriated face certain torture and imprisonment and, in some cases, execution.

    Several dozen refugees from North Korea gathered outside China’s embassy in the South Korean capital to demand the safe resettlement of those, like themselves, who fled their homeland.

    The demonstrators chant “Protect the North Korean refugees” and “Stop forced repatriation.”
    Some activists waved banners accusing China of “aiding murder” and called on the country to respect international law as a member of the United Nations Security Council.

    After 30 minutes, police informed the participants their event was illegal. The small demonstration quickly ended and people dispersed without incident. Among the defectors at the protest was Seo Jae-pyoung, secretary general of the Committee for the Democratization of North Korea. He says his 24-year-old nephew, suffering from tuberculosis, died in a Chinese refugee camp two weeks after being apprehended while crossing the Tumen River.

    Seo says China, as the world’s number-two economic power and a country advocating peace and equality, needs to consider the plight of the North Koreans who are crossing the border with a “do or die” mentality.

    Rights groups want China to allow the North Koreans to safely resettle, with the assistance of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

    More than 20,000 North Koreans have made new homes in South Korea and other countries.
    Activists say there are tens of thousands of North Koreans hiding in China. Most of them are women, who rights groups say also risk being victimized by sex traffickers in China.

    Women are vulnerable in other ways says Peter Chung, a pastor who runs the organization Justice for North Korea.

    Chung says children of mothers who are sent back to North Korea by Chinese police remain in China. They are being raised by people who do not have the financial resources or the physical ability to care for them.   He says these children continue to be malnourished.   
    The North Korea Freedom Coalition, based in the U.S. state, Virginia, says it planned the coordinated international protest because Beijing has not responded to requests by several governments, including the United States and South Korea, to stop the forceful repatriation of the refugees.

    Under an agreement between Beijing and Pyongyang, those entering China from North Korea are treated as economic migrants rather than refugees whose status is recognized by the United Nations.

    Other activities planned Thursday to draw attention to the plight of the North Koreans include demonstrations in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo, film screenings in Mexico City and a prayer vigil in Los Angeles.

    The Korean peninsula has been divided since a devastating three-year civil war in the early 1950’s that ended with a ceasefire, but no peace treaty. North and South Korea have no diplomatic relations.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora