Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Orwell missed the title by two years, but got the gist of today's North Korea and the politics of Chinese security;
Groups that assist North Koreans flee - and who have in their ranks people operating within North Korea, at great personal risk - say that a 70-strong unit of the Political Security Division of China's People's Army has been transferred to the border, along with an unconfirmed number of troops from the North's national security.
These units are designed to supplement the existing army and border guard units that already monitor the frontier, as well as to identify and punish those officials who have been accepting bribes to look the other way when a party of defectors wants to escape.
"Our sources say those that help defectors are being interrogated and then shot dead without a trial," Kato told D[eutche] W[elle].
All this because of a treaty;
... even when they have made it over the border into China the defectors are far from safe. To Beijing, all North Korean defectors are classified as economic migrants and, under the terms of an agreement it signed with Pyongyang in 1986, Chinese authorities send back any defectors that are detained. Over the years, this has been the fate of tens of thousands of people. 
Who ought to be protected by United Nations agreements, if not by humanitarian concerns. But this is international politics. Someone ought to tell Sec'y of State John Kerry.

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