Assembly of Lawmakers
and NGOs in Tokyo
Conference Starts July 30, 2005
The Chinese government continues to intensify its
crackdown on North Korean refugees, with an eye to eliminating
them before the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government, the first you would
expect to protect North Korean refugees, appears increasingly
reluctant to accept them.
For example, the mass media widely
reported that on June 8 that seven North Korean refugees had
to seek refuge in Thailand's Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, because
Korean Embassy there refused them entry.
South Korea Not Helping
LFNKR recently attempted to help three North Koreans,
including one of our foster children, to escape from China.
Our team led these three to the South Korean embassy in a third
country in Southeast Asia (we cannot specify for security reasons),
but that embassy refused them protection.
The rescue team was
forced to improvise, and had to take other measures to secure
their safety. The change in plans resulted in much heavier
costs in both time and money.
LFNKR is very concerned with the recent attitude of the South
Korean government. It appears to be abandoning North Korean defectors,
whom that government has officially claimed as its own people.
Disturbing developments like these make it all the more crucial
for the international community to strengthen mutual ties and
call for real measures to improve the plight of North Korean
International Assembly of Lawmakers, NGOs
International solidarity is of utmost importance, and to encourage
worldwide efforts, LFNKR is now preparing for the annual 3-day
Joint Lawmaker/NGO Action Assembly to begin in Tokyo on Saturday,
This year, an organization of legislators from a number of countries
will be adding their considerable political muscle to the cause
of helping North Korean refugees.
IPCNKR (International Parliamentarians'
Coalition for the North Korean Refugees and Human Rights) will
hold its 2nd general meeting on Sunday August 1, during the
NGO Action Assembly.
this page for more information about the IPCNKR group.
This joining of efforts is an important indicator of the growing
concern around the world, and the groundswell of willingness
to speak out and to act.
We believe that the joint meetings of
legislators and NGO members from Japan and several nations
abroad will help bring about practical measures to help North
Joint Lawmaker/NGO Action Assembly Schedule:
- Events hosted by Japanese and Korean NGOs, including
the personal stories of former foster children of LFNKR, who
successfully reached South Korea
- Private screening of the award-winning documentary "Seoul
Train" with Japanese subtitles (LFNKR coordinated this
project with Jim Butterworth, the producer of "Seoul Train").
This is the film that Chinese authorities tried to discourage
film festivals in several countries from screening. See
the evidence of this attempted suppression.
The Seoul Train website is at http://www.SeoulTrain.com
- IPCNKR panel discussion & presentations by NGOs
To attend this part of the event, contact LFNKR for more details.
Refugees Need Summer Clothing
Lastly, LFNKR encourages people abroad to join our campaign
to supply summer clothing to NK refugees hiding in China.
LFNKR currently has more than 10 clandestine shelters in China
where we provide more than 300 refugees with necessary supplies.
As part of our strategy to shield them from the notice of the
Chinese authorities, we supply new sets of summer clothing
and winter clothing each year so that they can dress to blend
the local people.
This summer, we still need to supply an additional 50 sets of
summer clothing to the newest refugees. One set of clothing includes
upper and lower garments, a pair of shoes, and underwear.
This costs about US $10. If you would like to donate to this
here to visit our donation page.
With sincerest thanks,
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
A-101 Nishi Kata Hyteru
2-2-8 Nishi Kata, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, Japan 113-0024
Tel / Fax +81-3-3815-8127