In the News – S. Korea to increase diplomatic pressure on N. Korea over human rights issues: official
SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) — South Korea plans to increase diplomatic pressure on North Korea over human rights issues, including the case of three people from the South believed to have been held in the communist nation for decades, a senior official said Friday.
The move could further exacerbate the already frayed relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.
An immediate focus of the campaign is expected to be on the case of Shin Suk-ja and her two daughters who are believed to have been held in the North since 1987, a year after her husband, Oh Kil-nam, fled the communist nation.
Oh claims his family was lured to the North in 1985 via West Germany where he was studying.
But a senior North Korean diplomat told a U.N. group last month that Shin had died of hepatitis and the two daughters do not regard Oh as their father since “he abandoned his family and drove their mother to death.” Continue reading →
In the News – S.Koreans Unlawfully Detained in N.Korea, UN Finds
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has concluded that the wife of a prominent South Korean activist and their daughters were forcefully detained by North Korea. The finding by the UNHCR Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will be mentioned officially in all UN reports related to North Korea in the future, a government official here said Monday.
Shin Suk-ja and her husband Oh Kil-nam were lured to North Korea from Germany in 1985 with the promise of free medical treatment for Shin’s hepatitis. Oh later escaped and last year received word that his wife was still alive despite spending decades in concentration camps.
In November last year, the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea submitted a petition to the UN seeking the rescue of Shin and her daughters. Pressed by the UN for a response, North Korea sent a curt letter this month claiming Shin had died of hepatitis and her daughters disowned Oh.
Based on the working group’s findings, the UN is expected to press North Korea to send Shin’s remains to her husband and seek the release of her two daughters.