China Continues to Arrest North Korean Refugees
Escapees from the gulag state that is North Korea ought not to be termed defectors. That would indicate a well-thought out ideological break with the cult of Pyongyang and a betrayal of Communist principles. I'm not convinced that's what's going on. I don't think anyone else is, either.
Certainly, as escaped refugees learn what the real world is like outside of the totalitarian state's borders, any lingering solidarity with the dynasty of Kim Il Sung will disappear. But the reason most people try to get out is because they're desperately hungry and fear being imprisoned and tortured for breaking arbitrary rules like not crying enough at the Dear Leader's recent funeral. They're not traitors; they are refugees hoping to escape with their lives and nothing else.
When China arrests these people and sends them back to meet their lethal fate at the hands of the North Korean prison camp guards, it is violating their human right to life. It's sort of like an escapee from Al Qaeda somehow managing to get to a consulate or airport and authorities deciding to hand them back to their former captors for a scheduled beheading. Or to put it another way, if a starving, scarred and penniless North Korean somehow managed to swim across the Pacific Ocean to the USA, how atrocious would it be for police to send him back?
Protests should not be confined to South Korea. China's leaders should know the world is watching.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist