Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Seoul Parliament today approved with 154 votes in favor, a resolution calling on China to stop the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees. The proposal was put forward to try to save 30 immigrants from North, arrested by the government in Beijing and about to be sent home. An opposition MP has started a hunger strike "until death if necessary" to convince the Chinese government to change its policy entirely on the issue.
Beijing, the last remaining ally of the North Korean government, considers exiles from the North "illegal economic migrants" and if it stops them sends them home. But the situation of trying to escape and being captured has worsened with the death of Kim Jong-il: his successor, Kim Jong-un, announced shortly after taking power that he means to "exterminate the families of those who seek to abandon the motherland ". Since the end of the Korean War (1950-1953), about 21 thousand people have fled from the last Stalinist regime: to leave, almost all pass through China and then go on to seek political asylum in South Korea
The question also relates to international law: according to the treaties between nations, indeed, anyone who escapes from a country with a clear case of persecution should be considered a refugee and not an immigrant. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said: "With regard to North Korean refugees, the Chinese government must treat them in line with international treaties. They are not criminals." South Korea has also asked the UN to intervene.
Park Sun-young, a member of the Conservative Party, is fasting in front of Chinese embassy in Seoul to ask for a "real change" in policy on refugees: "If the situation remains then I will die, because I'm not going to stop." The woman, 55, is camped out in front of a church: she has no source of heat, even at night when the temperature drops below zero degrees, and she takes part in all anti-Chinese protests that occur outside the Embassy