Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LiNK wants to establish settlement facility for North Korean defectors

An American activist group for North Korean human rights plans to build a settlement facility for North Korean defectors to the United States, a revamped version of one in South Korea.

"'Hanawon' is not exactly the best resettlement program out there. So...we're going to set up a version of that here in the United States to help facilitate these North Koreans to resettle here in the U.S.," Adrian Hong, head of LiNK (Liberty in North Korea), said in an interview with Washington-based Radio Free Asia.

Hanawon, a facility set up near Seoul by the South Korean government in 1995, accommodates up to 100 North Korean refugees and provides housing and three months of training to help defectors adjust to life in capitalist South Korea.

Hong also revealed his group's plan to increase the number of underground shelters his organization is running for North Korean defectors in China, North Korea's neighboring country.

"We have 30 shelters in China...for North Korean refugees," he said. "(We) decided to increase the size of the network by 50 percent, which means we are going to go up a lot." LiNK has been supplying the shelters with clothes, food and medical aid since December 2004, according to its officials.


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