[Hpn] N.Korean defector says disabled newborns are killed~OT

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Wed, 22 Mar 2006 19:13:36 -0500


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      http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SEO27580.htm

      N.Korean defector says disabled newborns are killed

      22 Mar 2006

      =20
      Source: Reuters
    =20
By Jack Kim=20

SEOUL, March 22 (Reuters) - North Korea has no people with physical =
disabilities because they are killed almost as soon as they are born, a =
physician who defected from the communist state said on Wednesday.=20

Ri Kwang-chol, who fled to the South last year, told a forum of rights =
activists that the practice of killing newborns was widespread but =
denied he himself took part in it.=20

"There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," Ri told =
members of the New Right Union, which groups local activists and North =
Korean refugees.=20

He said babies born with physical disabilities were killed in infancy in =
hospitals or in homes and were quickly buried.=20

The practice is encouraged by the state, Ri said, as a way of purifying =
the masses and eliminating people who might be considered "different".=20

The group urged the South Korean government to change course away from =
"silent diplomacy" and immediately begin taking action to pressure the =
North to improve its human rights record.=20

The South Korean government has refused to join international =
condemnation of human rights abuses in the North out of concern that =
such a move could rattle ties with Pyongyang, which considers any =
criticism of its human rights as deeply offensive.=20

"The government should stop trying to avoid upsetting Kim Jong-il," said =
another defector, Kim Young-sun, 67, referring to the North Korean =
leader. "It should try to upset Kim Jong-il," she said, adding it would =
be the best way to change the North.=20

Kim Young-sun is a survivor of the North's Yodok prison camp, notorious =
for its forced labour and life-sentences for people charged with =
conspiring against the Kim Jong-il leadership.=20

Mun Hyon-ok said women from her hometown in the northern region of North =
Korea bordering China were taken by a ring of human traffickers and =
probably ended up in China.=20

"And there are women who are selling themselves for a handful of rice," =
she told the forum.=20

North Korea has called itself a people's paradise and said criticism of =
its human rights was motivated by a goal of toppling the leadership of =
Kim Jong-il.=20

South Korea has come under fire from human rights groups and some =
countries for abstaining in votes on U.N. measures to condemn the =
North's human rights record.=20

Seoul has also avoided the subject in bilateral talks with the North. =
South Korean officials have said the best way to improve the situation =
is through quiet diplomacy and encouraging the North to improve its food =
situation and open up to the international community.=20



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      <DIV class=3DartTitle><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
      =
href=3D"http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SEO27580.htm">http://www=
.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SEO27580.htm</A></FONT></DIV>
      <DIV class=3DartTitle><FONT face=3DArial =
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      <DIV class=3DartTitle>N.Korean defector says disabled newborns are =

      killed</DIV>
      <DIV class=3DartTitle>&nbsp;</DIV>
      <DIV class=3Dnewsdate><SPAN class=3Dnewstime>22 Mar =
2006</SPAN></DIV>
      <DIV class=3Dnewsdate><SPAN =
class=3Dnewstime></SPAN><BR>&nbsp;</DIV>Source:=20
      Reuters<BR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>By Jack Kim=20
<P></P>SEOUL, March 22 (Reuters) - North Korea has no people with =
physical=20
disabilities because they are killed almost as soon as they are born, a=20
physician who defected from the communist state said on Wednesday.=20
<P></P>Ri Kwang-chol, who fled to the South last year, told a forum of =
rights=20
activists that the practice of killing newborns was widespread but =
denied he=20
himself took part in it.=20
<P></P>"There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," Ri =
told=20
members of the New Right Union, which groups local activists and North =
Korean=20
refugees.=20
<P></P>He said babies born with physical disabilities were killed in =
infancy in=20
hospitals or in homes and were quickly buried.=20
<P></P>The practice is encouraged by the state, Ri said, as a way of =
purifying=20
the masses and eliminating people who might be considered "different".=20
<P></P>The group urged the South Korean government to change course away =
from=20
"silent diplomacy" and immediately begin taking action to pressure the =
North to=20
improve its human rights record.=20
<P></P>The South Korean government has refused to join international=20
condemnation of human rights abuses in the North out of concern that =
such a move=20
could rattle ties with Pyongyang, which considers any criticism of its =
human=20
rights as deeply offensive.=20
<P></P>"The government should stop trying to avoid upsetting Kim =
Jong-il," said=20
another defector, Kim Young-sun, 67, referring to the North Korean =
leader. "It=20
should try to upset Kim Jong-il," she said, adding it would be the best =
way to=20
change the North.=20
<P></P>Kim Young-sun is a survivor of the North's Yodok prison camp, =
notorious=20
for its forced labour and life-sentences for people charged with =
conspiring=20
against the Kim Jong-il leadership.=20
<P></P>Mun Hyon-ok said women from her hometown in the northern region =
of North=20
Korea bordering China were taken by a ring of human traffickers and =
probably=20
ended up in China.=20
<P></P>"And there are women who are selling themselves for a handful of =
rice,"=20
she told the forum.=20
<P></P>North Korea has called itself a people's paradise and said =
criticism of=20
its human rights was motivated by a goal of toppling the leadership of =
Kim=20
Jong-il.=20
<P></P>South Korea has come under fire from human rights groups and some =

countries for abstaining in votes on U.N. measures to condemn the =
North's human=20
rights record.=20
<P></P>Seoul has also avoided the subject in bilateral talks with the =
North.=20
South Korean officials have said the best way to improve the situation =
is=20
through quiet diplomacy and encouraging the North to improve its food =
situation=20
and open up to the international community. <BR =
clear=3Dall></DIV>

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