N.K. defectors launch new political body

Korea Herald
Annie Bang

Twenty organizations of North Korean defectors established a politically unified group in Seoul yesterday and pledged to lead activities to democratize the North.

The group also revealed satellite photos of 17 private houses in the North owned by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

“The defectors, who experienced living under the dictatorship of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, must seek more systematic ways to democratize North Korea,” said Sohn Jung-hoon, secretary of the newly founded Committee of Democratizing North Korea.

The committee was formed by almost all the organizations of North Korean defectors in the South, including Democracy Network against North Korean Gulag, and Association of the North Korean Defectors.

“It is impossible for North Korea to recover its economy and resolve the shortage of food without freedom,” the committee said in a statement. “Democratizing North Korea is a must to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula, to improve inter-Korean relations and to recover the North Korean economy.”

Hwang Jang-yop, chairman of NKD, who was secretary of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party, will lead the unified group.

There are over 100,000 North Koreans who defected from the North as of February, and the Seoul government believes the number will exceed 200,000 in five years.


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