Monday, June 3, 2013

Please Help the North Korean children

In the wake of the recent repatriation of a group of young North Korean defectors from Laos, South Korean diplomats in overseas missions plan to hold a meeting to discuss follow-up measures and ways to better deal with the sensitive issue. The nine North Koreans, aged between 15 and 23, fled their country in 2011. They hid in China before moving to Laos in hopes of settling in South Korea, but they were rounded up there by authorities on May 10. South Korea had appealed to both Laos and China to send them to Seoul, but the plea was rejected. They were deported to China on May 27, and the following day flown home. The U.N. human-rights chief criticized Laos and China on Friday for returning nine young defectors - all reportedly orphans - to North Korea, where they could face harsh treatment. Under North Korean law, defectors face a minimum of five years of hard labor and as much as life in prison or the death penalty in cases deemed particularly serious. Activists say they could face torture.


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