Daily NK: Besides the role of the government, what about the role of society?
Tim Peters: Obviously, I believe it is the role of NGOs to speak out about the North Korean situation and the inhumane policies of the Chinese government.
Firstly, NGO activists in the States monitor Washington’s foreign policies, to determine whether the U.S. Government foreign ministry has policies in place recognizing the plight of the North Korean defectors, and the what kind of efforts are being implemented to improve human rights situations of the North Korean refugees in China.
Second we reach out to the business community. The economy and human rights are inseparable. Prior to trade relations, we must demand that China actively engages in addressing these human rights problems.
We engage business firms in this human rights discussion. For example, the government of South Korea is developing industries in Southeast Asia, China and other third countries. Companies that hire North Korean refugees could be subsidized. This would allow North Korean defectors to be able to live in third countries as legal citizens just as they would in South Korea.
So businesses could evaluate ways to provide opportunities for a new start for North Korean defectors who flee to these same countries.