Beijing Arrest Defectors From North Korea
The Chinese Communist authorities recently arrested
20 people fleeing from North Korea, as well as six people
who had assisted their escape.
International media reported that these defectors may face
being deported back to North Korea.
The South Korean government expressed their hopes that
Beijing would release them.
As Xi Jinping has just finished his visit in South Korea,
China and South Korea relations seem to be warming.
What are the implications of this incident’s timing?
Here’s our report.
Both Voice of America and Radio Free Asia reported
on July 23 about the capture of the North Korean defectors
in China’s Shandong and Yunnan.
A group of four families, including a couple in their 60s,
some youth at their 20s, and a one year old child.
Five Chinese guides and one former North Korean escapee
already settled in South Korea were also arrested.
It is believed that according to the treaty of repatriation
of illegal border crossers between Beijing and Pyongyang,
the defectors will likely be sent back to North Korea.
The media reports say they will likely be detained in Tumen
City at the border and then be deported back to North Korea.
South Korean authorities are trying to get more details
on the situation and working on rescue efforts.
They’ve expressed hopes that Beijing will release the escapees
and allow them to settle in South Korea according to
the principles of human rights and humanitarianism.
But Beijing’s has been very reluctant to release them.
Chinese president Xi Jinping had just finished visiting Korea
in early July.
The extensive media coverage in both Korea and China
hyped up the warming relations between the two countries.
Politics watcher Chen Minghui says the infighting happening
within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is very sensitive.
Chen says that with the month-long air traffic control
taking place in Shanghai, Jiang Zemin’s power center,
and the arrest of the defectors happening during
the same time period is a sign the elevating power struggle.
Chen Minghui: “It depends on who controls the defectors’ fates.
If it’s Xi Jinping’s faction, his previous visit to South Korea
could trigger a friendly gesture.
But, if Jiang’s faction controls these defectors,
they might make it into a big deal to embarrass Xi Jinping."
The laws in North Korea state that fugitives may be detained
for at least five years in a concentration camp,
or may even face life imprisonment or execution.
Many people who’ve managed to escape North Korea confirm
that many repatriated defectors have been shot to death,
including pregnant women.
Repatriated defectors also face inhuman treatment, such as
having wires pierced through their collarbones
to prevent them from escaping.
Since its establishment, the CCP’s regime has continued
to arrest and repatriate North Korean refugees,
despite strong condemnation by the international community.
Liu Yiming, mainland Chinese blog writer: “The CCP is truly
inhumane to do such a thing, simply to maintain its
relationship with North Korea’s Kim dynasty; they follow
its whims, otherwise, they might lose this ‘little brother.'"
Currently, China, North Korea, Cuba, and a few others are
among the few remaining Communist Countries.
The North Korea regime’s first generation leader Kim Il Sung
seized power with the support of the Soviet Communist Party
and the CCP, just like how the CCP was established
as a Far East branch in China by the Soviet Communist Party.
Liu Yiming says that the historical collapse of East Germany’s
Communist regime was due to large numbers of East Germans
fleeing to West Germany during the 80’s and 90’s.
This had encouraged the people of Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union to fight for freedom.
Liu Yiming: “A dictatorial regime will collapse
when its people have escaped.
So the Communist regimes trap people in their own country.
To survive, people have to work, and the regime exploits them
as only in this way can it sustain its officials and its regime."
South Korea-based civic group North Korean Defectors
Association says that it’s possible the CCP allows North
Korea’s defense department to track the defectors and that’s
how they were almost simultaneously caught
in Shandong and Yunnan provinces.
International media are paying attention to how the high level
infighting in the CCP will affect these defectors’ destinies.
Interview & Edit/TangYin Post-Production/JianMing Chen