March 5 2012
In late February 2012 PFD spoke with the office of South Korean MP Park Sun-young and the National Endowment for Democracy regarding the plight of a group of North Korean refugees.
Detained in China earlier in February, the North Koreans were on the verge of being sent back to North Korea against their will, with the possibility of harsh punishment and even execution if returned home. It had been reported that the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that North Koreans who escaped DPRK during the mourning period of his father would be ‘annihilated’ along with their families.
Rep. Park Sun-young was on a hunger strike for more than 10 days but collapsed during a protest.
Parliamentary Forum for Democracy Chair Emanuelis Zingeris made the following statement:
In my capacity as the Chair of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (PFD) I would like to speak about the pending repatriation of North Korean refugees.
I appeal to President Hu Jintao to ensure that the recently captured North Korean refugees are not repatriated to North Korea and to allow them to be resettled in South Korea or elsewhere.
I also express support for the resolution made by 152 members of the South Korean National Assembly regarding the forced repatriation.
The risk that these North Koreans will face persecution and even execution is extreme as it has been reported that the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that refugees who escaped DPRK during the mourning period of his father would be ‘annihilated’ along with their entire family.
The PFD secretariat contacted its members regarding the North Korean refugees. As well as Chairman Zingeris, parliamentarians including Ana Gomes MEP, Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Michael Danby MP, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, and Deepak Obrai MP advised PFD that they have or will raise this important matter publically.
An advisor to Rep. Park has said that she cannot thank PFD enough. The ultimate plight of the North Korean Refugees remains unclear.