Beijing, January 12, 2005 -- Four South Korean
lawmakers were harassed while attempting to hold a press conference
in Beijing (see the lawmakers' statement below), when the meeting
was halted by a group of men in plain clothes who refused to identify
Our organization, LFNKR, is deeply shocked that
the international press conference hosted by the four South Korean
lawmakers in Beijing yesterday was violently interrupted.
These SK lawmakers, Kim Moon-soo, Choi Byung-gook,
Bae Il-do and Park Seung-hwan, were attempting to make a request
to the Chinese government for leniency toward North Korean refugees
who flee into China.
They also were pleading for immediate release
of the South Korean humanitarian aid worker, Choi Yong-hun, who
has already served two years of a five-year prison sentence (for
his attempt to help North Korean refugees in China).
The incident was taped by newsmen present. The
scenes, including the forcible removal of overseas journalists
from the press conference room, were repeatedly broadcast in Japan
by the TV networks.
The international community appears to be growing
increasingly doubtful about China's fitness to host the 2008 Beijing
On 22 December when the worldwide simultaneous
"block the repatriation of NK refugees" demonstrations
were held in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in many
country worldwide, we saw a number of placards demanding the 2008
Olympic Games be moved to Toronto in Canada.
With only a few years remaining until the next
Olympics, the Chinese government must respond to this growing
increasing demand for saving North Korean refugees.
-- Public Statement from SK Lawmakers --
13th, Jan, 2005
We demand apology and punishment of those responsible
for the sabotage of South Korean lawmakers' press conference with
the int'l media
On Jan. 12 (Wed), 2005, at a conference room
on the 2nd floor of the Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing,
a very regrettable incident occurred at 2 p.m.. National Assemblymen
of the Republic of Korea Kim Moon-soo, Choi Byung-gook, Bae Il-do
and Park Seung-hwan were about to start a press conference, when
all of the lights suddenly went out and the reporters were forcefully
pulled out of the room.
This incident is a very grievous event that
seriously threatens the diplomatic relations between the Republic
of Korea (ROK) and the People's Republic of China (PRC).
In response, we hereby demand the following:
1. We urge the PRC government to figure out those
who are responsible for the sabotage of this rightful press conference
and deal with the same according to the Chinese law;
2. We urge the PRC government to show the law
and/or regulation pertaining to the interference of this press
3. We urge the PRC government to determine the
person or persons in charge of those responsible for the black-out
of said conference room for two hours and virtually detaining
and/or isolating us for over five hours;
4. We urge the PRC government to punish the
person or persons in charge of those dozen or so unidentified
ruffians who shoved the reporters out of the conference room and
threatened us on several occasions with the use of force; and
5. We urge the ROK government to lodge a stern
protest with the PRC government for the disruption of this press
conference and implement a strongest diplomatic measure ensuring
the punishment of the person or persons responsible for this incident
and the promise not to allow the recurrence of the like incident.
Members of the National Assembly, Republic of Korea,