South Korean Embassy in Bangkok Told of Orphans

Notified by email

To help assure that the two North Korean orphans suffering from tuberculosis will immediately receive all necessary health care, LFNKR emailed the following message to the South Korean Embassy in Bangkok on Aug. 7, 2012.

August 7, 2012

To: South Korean Consulate in Thailand

I am Mr. Kato Hiroshi, the head director of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), a Tokyo-based NGO. We are a humanitarian/human rights citizen group dedicated to helping North Korean refugees, mainly by providing food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.

We have been taking care of a total of about 20 Kot-jebi (North Korean orphans) hiding in the mountains in Chanbai, China’s Jilin Province. Two of these orphans are suffering from turberculosis, and one is coughing blood. Their health condition is serious, and they need immediate medical treatment. They cannot hope to receive medical examination or hospitalization in China through official channels. They would instead be forcibly deported back to North Korea, where they would receive severe punishment by the authorities. Being punished rather than treated would mean death for them.

Eventually, we decided that the only practical way is for us to help them reach a safe third country where they will be able to receive medical treatment under the protection of the South Korean government.

They notified us that they expected to arrive unaccompanied at xxx, Thailand on Aug. 8, 2012. They have in their possession their own chest X-ray photos. Our worry is that, since they have turberculois, a contagious disease, it could affect others if they should be detained at the regular immigration detention center.

We hope that you will immediately explain the situation of these two North Korean defectors to the Thai immigration authorities and the court, and make arrangements for them to be isolated for the necessary medical treatment. Or alternatively, it may be decided that they should be immediately sent to South Korea for medical treatment. The attached files are the petitions (click here to read the petitions) written by them and translated by a member of LFNKR in charge of this NGO’s English language website.

Kato Hiroshi, Head Director
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR)
TEL/FAX: +81-3-3815-8127