Tag Archive | China

The North Korean Refugee Crisis

China returns North Korean escapees. They face detention, torture, punishment and death when returned.


From the Liberty in North Korea website


There are an estimated 30,000 North Korean refugees in China, living in a precarious and sometimes desperate situation. They fear harsh punishment or even death if they are caught and sent back to North Korea

North Korea Escapee: Hyeon Seo Lee

Bio from TED:
Born in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee left for China in 1997. Now living in South Korea, she has become an activist for fellow refugees.

Why you should listen

Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in 1997. In 2008, after more than 10 years there, she came to Seoul, South Korea, where she struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city. North Korean defectors often have a hard time in South Korea, she noted in the Wall Street Journal: “We defectors have to start from scratch. Prejudice against North Koreans and icy stares were other obstacles that were hard to cope with.”

Now a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, she has become an advocate for fellow refugees, even helping close relatives leave North Korea after they were targeted. Her dream? As she told the Korea Times, she’d like to work at the UN or an NGO that advocates for the human rights of North Koreans, including their right to be treated as political refugees.




The Tragedy of North Korea



Nursery-school children are told by their teacher to revere their 'Great Leader'

Nursery-school children are told by their teacher to revere their ‘Great Leader’

Here we are in the 21st century and we still have a country on earth where there are no basic human rights-especially freedom! That country, if you can call it that, is North Korea.

I’m digressing on the herbs focus for this blog to focus on a place where they don’t even have enough daily nourishment to survive while ‘the dear leader’ gorges himself on every delicacy he can find in the world over. Many people in North Korea have to forage for food in any field they can. I live in South Korea and felt I should be writing about this issue, since I enjoy such a beautiful life here, it is a tragedy to know that the same people I live with everyday are also being held captive north of our border.

Yes, the Kim Jeong-Un regime is an evil empire ruled by fear. If they don’t worship him as their one true god, they could face torture or if lucky enough a quick death. He enjoys a privileged life while those under him are denied even the basic of human rights. But Kim says they have one of the best human rights policies in the world. I have one question: why are people trying to leave then? If they have such a great country why are people risking life and limb to escape Kim’s wonderful utopia?  And when they get across the border why does China send them back? They know those people will face torture and maybe death. It boggles the mind of any human being living in the free world.

How can they get away with it when we have governing bodies like the UN?  How can China get away with vetoing everything put forward to punish these governments? It gives China and Russia some kind of sick satisfaction, I guess, that somewhere on earth there’s a government out there keeping the masses under a jack boot.

Now the UN has put out a report on the DPRK and it is not going to lighten your mood. The UN panel accuses North Korea of crimes against humanity, such as, systematic extermination, murder, torture, starvation and more. This panel recommends that Kim and his government be charged with crimes against humanity. Of course, North Korea categorically denies these charges as lies. Wow, that’s a new one. I bet China will veto any attempt at making the DPRK accountable for their crimes. You can find the articles listed below.

On the up side, I found a young woman in Atlanta, Georgia who has taken it upon herself and other classmates to bring awareness of the North Korean’s plight and try to help them. I’m enclosing a link to her blog below describing the school presentation they do. It’s great to see these young people doing what they can to help. I’m proud of them for wanting to do this. Here’s the link to her blog about North Korea.

 Presentation at a School in our Area! – May 24, 2013.

References for the UN report: