Friday, October 13, 2006

Chinese Internet intervention: North Korean refugee women

Since the passage of the U.S. North Korean Human Rights Act, a couple of lucky North Korean defectors have successfully made their way to the U.S. And with more and more choosing to make their escape from North Korea, their first stop being China, Chinese authorities have stepped up their efforts to search for North Korean refugees, who are then sentenced to severe punishment, and forcefully repatriated to North Korea.

A recent article in a Chinese online newspaper, Renmin Daily ('People’s Daily'), an offshoot of the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper, has been circulating among Chinese bloggers. The article highlights the miserable life of a North Korean female about to be repatriated to North Korea. This article has now made its way onto numerous Chinese portals and blogs reaching thousands of readers.

The article, entitled “North Korean bride in China”, calls for direct action by the Chinese people, the author highlighting the plight of North Korean refugee women who are being sold through the slave trade.

The writer’s cousin paid 10,000 yuan (US$1,264) to acquire a North Korean woman to be his wife. The author goes on to explain “The North Korean woman matched with my cousin was apprehended by authorities at the time of their wedding preparations, and was already pregnant.” He then issues an appeal for this North Korean bride-to-be who “does not want to be forcefully repatriated back to North Korea, and has not eaten for 5 days.”

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