We – 3,000 North Korean defectors who escaped the slave-like life led under the North Korean regime marked by a three-generation hereditary power succession, declare our willingness to collectively seek asylum if Moon jae-in is elected president of the Republic of Korea.
During the end of the Roh Moo-hyun administration on Feb. 8th of 2008, the administration forced repatriation of 22 North Korean defectors who arrived in South Korea on rubber boats. This happened 10 hours after their arrival in the South and as a result of the repatriation, all of them were executed upon returning to North Korea.
Also, the Korean resident registration numbers given to North Korean defectors by the Roh Moo-hyun government was easily distinguishable, and the government neglected the arrest of defectors of South Korean nationality that were visiting China. They were either activists working to spread the message of freedom to North Korea there or mere visitors who were caught by Chinese police or the North Korean State Security Department.
As a result of this, approximately 1,000 defectors are presumed to have gone missing over a span of 2 years between 2005 to 2007, and we therefore urge the Korean police, Unification Ministry, Ministry of the Interior and related organizations to disclose the list of defectors lost during this period of time.
In addition, a testimony states that at a State Security branch in Cheongjin City in North Korea alone, 219 defectors of South Korean nationality forced to repatriate were either executed or sent to political prison camps. We urge Moon Jae-in, then chief presidential secretary to President Roh Moo-hyun, to clarify what actually happened during that time.
During the Roh Moo-hyun government, North Korean defectors were oppressed and discriminated against in South Korea. For example, defectors working in South Korean firms were pressured to resign after hearing comments such as, “Inter-Korean relations are going well and we don’t want defectors working in our company anymore.”
Under these circumstances, we defectors have no choice but to seek collective asylum if Moon Jae-in is elected as president.
If Candidate Moon Jae-in is elected and reforms the National Intelligence Service of Korea which currently maintains the free Republic of Korea regime and abolishes the National Security Law, a team of North Korean assassins could frequently come to South Korea to kidnap or murder defectors. This poses a life-threatening risk for us.
Democratic Party of Korea Candidate Moon Jae-in stated that he will first visit North Korea rather than the U.S. once he is elected, and also stated that he will “burn away conservatives”. Another Democratic Party member Lee Hae-chan said “conservatives need to be wiped out”. We defectors are losing sleep over fear of what can happen to our fate.
Approximately 30,000 defectors have settled down in the Republic of Korea after risking their lives to leave North Korea in search of freedom. Creation of a government that sides with and colludes with North Korea greatly threatens our right to life and existence. If such a government comes into being, we have decided to collectively seek asylum to free democratic countries including the U.S., Japan, the UK and France.
We defectors risked our lives to seek freedom in the Republic of Korea and we have a responsibility to fight for the freedom and human rights of North Korean residents. Yet it is extremely sad and unfortunate to see our right to life and existence threatened and having to make the radical decision of leaving South Korea.
Our dear fellow Koreans,
We ask for your help at this critical moment. Please help us defectors who diced with death to escape North Korea in search of freedom in the South. Help us to remain.
May 3rd, 2017
Defectors’ Collective Asylum Promotion Committee
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