The North Korea Freedom Federation hosted a press conference earlier this week calling for world governments to take action against North Korea’s human rights abuses, after reports emerged that the nine orphans who had attempted to flee in 2013 with the help of a Christian missionary might’ve been killed.
Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, who participated at the press conference in Washington, D.C., said in a statement: “The findings of the Commission of Inquiry give us good reason to be deeply concerned about their fate, not just today, but for years to come.
He added: “If these children have met the horrible fate of so many other North Korean refugees, that is a crime against humanity. But if the nine are alive, it is evidence that international pressure can help save North Korean lives. Beijing, in cooperation with UNHCR, must help us find the truth about these nine children.”
Suzanne Scholte, chairman of North Korea Freedom Coalition, added that although it cannot yet be confirmed what happened to the orphans, the actions of the missionary, identified as “MJ,” helped many flee the repressive regime of Kim Jong Un.
“Several made it to South Korea, several made it to America,” Scholte said of the children that managed to escape.
“However, the last nine orphans — just at the point they thought they were going to South Korea from Laos — were forced back to North Korea even though they made it clear they wanted to go to South Korea, even though South Korea had agreed to accept them, even though repatriation to North Korean means certain torture, certain imprisonment, and sometimes even execution,” she continued.
Scholte argued that the government of Laos and China, which brought back the children to North Korea, had decided to honor the request of Kim’s government, rather than do what is best for the young people.
The press conference also included a letter from the missionary, who explained how he took care of the orphans with his wife, before attempting to bring them to safety to South Korea.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post