Chinese Regime Detains Four South Korean Activists
Created: 2012-05-15 14:32 EST
Four South Korean activists have been detained for almost seven weeks in Dalian city in north China’s Liaoning Province.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Chinese authorities detained the four on March 29th on charges of “endangering state security.”
According to a human rights group, the four activists had interviewed North Korean refugees living in hiding in the area. Many North Koreans escaped across the border to China before heading for South Korea.
One of the detainees is Kim Young-Hwan—a researcher for the Seoul-based rights group called the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights.
A South Korean Consul in the neighboring city of Shenyang met Kim about two weeks ago. They have not been able to speak with the other three activists, who had provided written declarations through Chinese authorities refusing to see South Korean diplomats. South Korean authorities have not been able to confirm whether this decision was made independently by the activists.
Meanwhile the South Korea government is urging Chinese authorities to handle the matter with speedy diplomacy.
Since the 1950s, over 20,000 North Koreans refugees have escaped—mostly to China first before heading for South Korea.