It was reported by the South Korean newspaper, Chosun-ilbo, that Jay Lefkowitz, the American North Korea Special Envoy, said in an unofficial talk held with North Korean human rights organizations, “The North Korean refugees is a problem of credibility for the American government.”
In the talk held in Freedom House, a Washington-based international human rights organization, Lefkowitz suggested three goals of this year; bring out the North Korean human rights problem, active response towards the North Korean refugee problem, and urge North Korea to pursue liberalization.
The participants of the talks said, “Taking into consideration the criticisms received for taking a passive position towards providing refuge to the North Korean refugees, the US will soon start to accept North Korean refugees located in countries other than South Korea into the US. The maximum number of refugees accepted may exceed 100 this year.”
Meanwhile, despite the fact that the US North Korean Human Rights Act was enacted in October 2004, the US has not to date accepted any North Korean refugees due to identity verification issues of the defectors and opposition from local countries.
[By Yang Jung A, The Daily NK]