Tag Archives: Thailand

Rescue Mission 613 Successfully Completed

 

Golden Triangle

Famous landmark in Golden Triangle – The Golden Buddha

LFNKR (Life Funds for North Korean Refugees) recently helped the first two of the six North Korean refugees waiting to escape to freedom. These six are the refugees for whom we recently invited donations.

Donate page

And it was your generosity that enabled us to help these two. Thank you so much for your ongoing interest and your continued support, and we invite you to help us help the remaining North Korean refugees on our waiting list.

Rescue mission 613 was initiated at the beginning of June, and although it encountered a few unexpected incidents, everything ended well.  Unfortunately, just before the rescue mission began, the identity of the special “guide” originally selected for the task was disclosed in the media. This, of course, meant the guide’s risk of arrest had become too great, so we hurriedly sent in a different guide. 

LFNKR Members Visit Golden Triangle

The giant golden Buddha landmark in northern Thailand

Summary Report  

As part of this organization’s ongoing rescue research activities, we dispatched several of members to the Northern Thailand border area in early July 2010. This is the so-called “Golden Triangle” area encompassing parts of Laos, Myanmar and Northern Thailand. The area was once famed as a heroin production and trafficking route, but now it is very well known among North Korean refugees as the entryway to sanctuary in Thailand.

Visit to Bangkok’s Immigrant Detention Center

Front gate of Thailand's IDC (Immigration Detention Center), where they await forwarding to South Korea, the US or Japan.

Although Thailand is not the final destination for North Korean defectors flowing into this country, this flow is currently the largest in the world, outside of China.  The numbers have steadily increased over the past several years.  According to the Thai government, about 1,000 North Korean defectors were detained here in 2007.  From 2008 and after, the Thai government stopped publicly announcing numbers, but my estimation is about 1,500 in 2008 and a bit higher in 2009.

See an NK Refugee Destination in Person

29 October 2009 – Sunday  

A one-day tour has been scheduled for 29 October to visit Chiang Sean, the small town in northern Thailand where we recently donated boxes of supplies (pictures here)

This in-person visit to a North Korean refugee “escape route and destination,” will include visits to the Chiang Sean Police Station and Mae Sai Immigration Office, plus a boat trip on the Mekong River. The North Korean refugees must cross this river to reach safety in Thailand. This one-day tour will be on 29 Nov. – a Sunday.

Medicines for NK Refugees Detained in Thailand

Chiang Saen, Thailand

Mr. Tomoharu Ebihara and an LFNKR staff member visited the Chiang Saen Police Station in northern Thailand to donate non-prescription medicines, blankets, and other items for North Korean refugees being detained there. Mr. Ebihara works at Thailand-Japan center, Payap University in Chiang Mai and also heads The Association for the Rescue of North Korea Abductees, Chiangmai (ARNKA).

Resettling NK Defectors in USA

Special Report by S. Yee

For a long while now, I have been keenly interested in what happens to North Koreans who have resettled in the USA via a third country. This is partly because I have been involved with Life Funds for North Korean Refugees in protecting and helping North Korean defectors in Southeast Asia. I wondered if there was anything I could do to help those who were headed for America, so when I had the opportunity in April and May to visit the US, I decided to find out how they are doing.

LFNKR’s Kato Speaks Out on Government Policies

On April 2, 2008 in Korea…

Kato Hiroshi, Executive Director of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), was invited by Korea Christian University to speak at its international conference. His speech was entitled “International Refugee Policy and Intervention & Training Plans for Specialized Social Workers.” The following is the script of the speech he presented at the conference on April 2, 2008.

Japan’s 2nd Annual NK Human Rights Public Awareness Week

Special Report on Events in Japan

The second annual North Korean Human Rights Public Awareness Week took place during Dec. 10th through 16th, 2007, as set forth in Japan’s “North Korean Human Rights Act,” which was enacted in June 2006. The many events held included government-hosted events, as well as international conferences and symposiums. 

Report on LFNKR Activities in FY 2006

Annual Activities Report

It is now obvious that North Korean defectors are being widely recognized and accepted as a legitimate issue by the international community. According to the resolution unanimously passed by the UN General Assembly last December, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea has been urging the North Korean government to correct its serious infringement of human rights and to allow the rapporteur entry into the country to investigate human rights there.

Human Rights Activist Kim Sang Hun

Sang Hun Kim, International Human Rights Volunteer

Mr. Kim’s Speech:

Chairperson, Distinguished Members of the International Community of Human Rights NGOs and Activists, Respected Members of News Media, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to thank you for your interest in the human rights disaster that North Korea has created, and for the innocent victims it has created. 

International Conference on North Korean Human Rights

September 17-21, 2007
2-Day Conference in Thailand
Followed by 3-Day Tour

OVERVIEW

Sept. 17-18, 2007 – First day closed to the public
Sept. 19-21, 2007

Field trip to border area (Thailand-Laos-Myanmar) where North Korean defectors often cross into Thailand.
Visit with Thai abductee.

Letter of Appeal to Prime Minister of Thailand

Protest of Extreme Overcrowded Conditions
Letter from LFNKR to the Prime Minister of Thailand.


26 April, 2007

Dear General Surayud Chulanont:

We, at Life Funds for North Korean Refugees(LFNKR), wish to convey our profoundest gratitude and respect to the people and Government of Thailand for humanitarian assistance extended to the North Korean defectors in Thailand in past years.

International Fact-finding Mission to Thailand

Memorial shot together with Maisai Immigration vice director and members of Fact Finding Mission in front of Maisai Immigration Police Building.

Memorial shot together with Maisai Immigration vice director and members of Fact Finding Mission in front of Maisai Immigration Police Building.

From February 25 to March 1 of this year, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees was part of an international fact-finding mission to Thailand, the purpose of which was to ascertain the current situation of North Korean refugees in Thailand. To this end, we met with the Bangkok office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the immigration police at Maesai (near the Laos/Thai/Myanmar border), and Thai human rights lawyers, as well as North Korean defectors and some of the activists assisting them in Thailand.

International Symposium on North Korean Human Rights

Public Awareness Week

In June 2006, the North Korean Human Rights Law was established in Japan. This law specifies December 10-16 as the North Korean Human Rights Week and resolves that both governmental and regional institutions shall put forth efforts to increase public awareness of human rights violations by North Korea.

Joint Appeal Sent to UNHCR on 7 in Thailand

7 NK Refugees in Thailand Awaiting UNHCR Action

The following appeal was sent to the High Commissioner today jointly by our group (LFNKR) and Tim Peters’ Helping Hands Korea NGO.


 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Geneva, Switzerland

20 September, 2006

As you probably have been informed, seven North Korean refugees, all women, have presented themselves to the police authorities in Nong Khai, a border town in Northern Thailand, at 09:00 hrs. Monday, 18 September in accordance with Article 31 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which prohibits, among other things, the imposition of penalties on refugees based on their illegal entry to a third country.

Joint Appeal to Thailand

175 NK Refugees Still Need Help

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) has jointly submitted the following Appeal to the Immigration Authorities of Thailand.

We urge you to send another letter to the Thai Ambassador in your country requesting that these refugees be safely released to South Korea or other country where they will be safe from repatriation to North Korea.

175 NK Refugees in Thai Custody

You Can Help – Mail a Letter

The Thai government is negotiating with the United Nations and the South Korean government after Thai police followed a tip and found 175 North Koreans at a house in Bangkok. Following a tip-off by the neighbors, the Thai police raided a house on August 22, 2006, where they found 128 women, 37 men and 10 children, all North Koreans. The refugees were being sheltered while seeking asylum in other countries, including South Korea. 

LFNKR’s Activities — What We Accomplished in 2004

Current Situation of North Korean Refugees 

Recently, the world has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of North Korean refugees who, rather than continuing to hide in China, are choosing to escape to other Asian countries. Escape destinations include Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.