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Congresswoman submits resolution urging US gov't to protect NK defectors in China

2024-07-23 04:00:15      点击:940
A North Korean defector,<strong></strong> center, who asked to be identified only by her surname, Kim, attends a weekly rally near the Embassy of China in Seoul, in this undated photo. Kim’s daughter was detained in China and faced repatriation to North Korea. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

A North Korean defector, center, who asked to be identified only by her surname, Kim, attends a weekly rally near the Embassy of China in Seoul, in this undated photo. Kim’s daughter was detained in China and faced repatriation to North Korea. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

A Korean American lawmaker has submitted a bipartisan resolution calling on the U.S. government and its allies to protect North Korean defectors in China, who it said face "humanitarian and human rights crises."

On Wednesday, Rep. Michelle Park Steel (R-CA), along with several fellow lawmakers, introduced the resolution, stressing that defectors from the North face forced labor, arbitrary detention, human trafficking and forcible repatriation.

The resolution encouraged the U.S. president and secretary of state to pressure China to protect North Korean defectors and use the influence of the United Nations to protect North Korean asylum seekers, prohibit any goods produced with North Korean labor, and halt the flow of foreign capital to the North Korean regime.

In a press release, Steel's office highlighted that if defectors are repatriated, they have to endure "serious human rights abuses," including torture and forced labor.

"As North Korea and the CCP aggressively hunt for defectors, innocent North Koreans searching for freedom, like my parents did so many years ago, need our help now more than ever," Steel was quoted as saying in the release. CCP stands for the Chinese Communist Party.

"The vast majority of these individuals are women and girls who are sexually abused, trafficked, and forced into 'marriages' with Chinese citizens. They are treated as less than human. We must use every tool at our disposal to end these horrific abuses," she added.

The resolution also pointed out that the governments of China and North Korea are "aggressively" seeking to locate and detain North Koreans in China, and to return them to North Korea, including offering bounties for information on defectors. (Yonhap)

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