September 15, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kang Cheol Hwan seeks support from Asian organizations to recognize North Korean refugees in China
On September 13,2014, North Korea Strategy Center (NKSC)’s executive director, Kang Cheol Hwan participated in the East Asia Democracy Forum (EADF) founding assembly organized by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). The forum’s main objectives are to: 1) support pro-democracy forces in the region; 2) promote and consolidate democracy in the region; 3) develop a regional democracy network.
During the forum Kang shared NKSC’s struggle in working with media dissemination in North Korea and how the improvement of democracy and human rights North East Asia is very much limited by the Asian giant China. He emphasized the need to form an alliance through the EADF Assembly to urge China to adopt more human rights practices. Kang also raised defector concerns in both South Korea and China and how providing support to them is paramount to bring freedom in North Korea. Kang stated, “Refusing to grant refugee status to North Korean refugees means that [China] is denying that they are political victims. Consequently, North Korean refugees face the danger of being repatriated to North Korea facing torture and imprisonment in political prison camps.” Kang supported NGOs need to work in cooperation and strategize ways of representing and supporting minorities who are not recognized as official minority groups in various parts of North East Asia.
The EADF forum also discussed issues such as women’s right, indigenous minority rights, government transparency, and labor rights. The main discussion of the forum was focused on how NGOs would utilize democratic values to improve the rights of minorities, women, laborers, and government transparency. Dr. Michael Kau ended the forum by presenting the need to develop a solid set of instructions and directions for the assembly to enhance interaction and communication amongst the participants of the EADF.
NKSC is a defector-led organization that seeks instill the rights of information, expression, and press in North Korea. NKSC trains defector journalists and sends external information to North Korea in the forms of USBs, DVDs, and radios.