We were shocked to learn a few months ago that Choi Yong (male),
a Japan-born North Korean, was executed after being repatriated.
He was one of the two Japan-born North Koreans whom Takayuki Noguchi
(of our organization) tried to help escape from China in December
And now another shock. We just learned that North Korean refugee
Park Yong-chol was secretly repatriated from the Chinese prison
to North Korea in October this year. He had been arrested in the
Yantai Boatpeople incident in January 2003 and sentenced to 2
years in prison.
This information comes via Kim Bong-soon, the wife of Choi Yong-hun,
who visited her imprisoned husband with a support group on Dec.
12. Park Yong-chol, had been arrested along with Choi Yong- hun
(a South Korean humanitarian aid worker), and they have been detained
at the same Wei Fang prison, Shan Dong Province, China.
Park Yong-chol was convinced that he would face execution if
sent back to North Korea. This is why Choi Yong-hun had repeatedly
asked our organization, LFNKR, through his wife, to work hard
to block Park's repatriation. We in LFNKR have continued our appeal
activities to prevent his repatriation and also to effect an early
release for Choi Yong-hun, who is currently serving a 5-year sentence.
This case has attracted the attention and support of people in
international NGOs, governmental organizations in the EU, the
United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as several other
countries. Despite all these efforts, China repatriated Park Yong-chol
anyway, which bitterly shocked and disappointed us.
We can only imagine how traumatic this must be for Choi Yong-hun.
He was even more discouraged recently to learn that none of the
600 letters he has written to family and friends ever even left
International society needs to intensify its efforts urging the
Chinese government to change its recent policy, a policy that
is obviously several steps backward from the urgent demands to
improve protection and aid for North Korean refugees. At the same
time, the South Korean government is also strongly requested to
take an active role in helping them.
International society must speak louder and more forcefully until
the Chinese government hears. We urge everyone, please join the
International Campaign to Block the Repatriation of the North
Korean Refugees. Whether you are an individual or an organization,
if you wish to be a part of the scheduled protest rally, go to
the Chinese embassy or consulate in your city at 11:00 AM on Dec.
rally in Los Angeles, California---only---will
held at 2:30 PM.)
For more information about the scheduled protest, go to
Warmest regards from Japan,
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