It’s probably too late to save 31 North Korean men, women, and children whom China is believed to have repatriated to North Korea this month, in flagrant violation of the U.N. Refugee Convention and its 1968 Protocol, both of which China signed. China committed this crime against humanity with malice aforethought and with characteristic arrogance, and despite a modest but rising protest movement in South Korea against the repatriations. We can only speculate as to the fate of these 31 souls. The UNHCR and the U.N.’s Korean General Secretary are, as is their custom, silent, ineffective, and unwilling to challenge the ChiComs.
Since the death of Kim Jong Il and the coronation of Kim Jong Eun as the titular successor to the Kim Dynasty, the regime has launched a crackdown against those fleeing this self-described Workers’ Paradise. Past reports suggests they may already be dead, but the more common practice has been to send them to a slower death in camps like these. It is not too late to save thousands more refugees that China will assuredly treat the same way this year. If any good can come from China’s vicarious murder of these people, it will be rising outrage against the Chinese regime that abets the murder of these people. That movement is now drawing at least some support from both ends of South Korea’s political spectrum. The ruling Saenuri Party’s Floor Leader, Hwang Woo-Yea, is leading his own party on this issue. Hwang has been leading international appeals on behalf of refugees for at least a decade, since the height of the Sunshine fad, and probably longer than any other serving legislator. To see the likes of Jeong Se-Kyun, formerly of the left-leaning Democratic Party, become active on this issue is more surprising.
The North Korean Freedom Coalition is holding two protest events against China’s repatriations today. At the first event, demonstrators will gather in front of the White House at 11 a.m. Whatever good can be said about this Administration’s North Korea policy, it has been largely inattentive and ineffective on making an issue of the human rights of North Koreans. Does anyone remember th the last time Bob King said anything remotely newsworthy, interesting, or helpful? How about the first time?
The protest will move to the Chinese Embassy at noon. You can scoff, with some justification, at the idea that the Chinese government really cares what anyone thinks, but I’ve seen a lot of hits on these pages from China recently, and rising anti-CCP sentiment might influence the policies of democratic governments that are holding elections this year.