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Appeasing North Korea

18 1 0
19.09.2019
By Donald Kirk

President Moon Jae-in, in his anxiety to appease North Korea, faces difficult choices. North Korea is easily offended.

One of the more troubling questions facing the Moon government is how to deal with defectors from the North. If Moon appears to welcome and support them, he risks incurring the wrath of the North. If he tries to cut back on aid and other forms of support for these people, many of them women, all of them lost in their new environment, he appears heartless and unconcerned about frightened people who must fend for themselves.

In a competitive society where they're viewed as strangers from a strange land, defectors tell stories of slights and slurs, fruitless searches for jobs where many young people, born, raised and college-educated in the South, have their own problems finding jobs. It's not uncommon for defectors to try to get around questions about their northern accents by saying they're from Gangwon province, divided between North and South, though most of them come from the northernmost provinces bordering China across the Yalu (Amnok) or Tumen rivers.

The deaths of a mother and child, whose wasted bodies revealed that the two had starved........

© The Korea Times