This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

North Korean Refugees : Canada

"If I go back [to South Korea], the adults, me and my husband, will survive somehow."
"But the kids who were born here and the oldest, it's not their fault that they ended up as my kids. I'm really sorry that we've told false stories [in 2010] but it was only for our survival and I hope the Canadian government gives us an opportunity to stay."
"Please give hope to my kids."
Hyekyung Jo, North Korean defector, Toronto
Hyekyung Jo admitted she and her husband misled Canadian officials when they arrived in Toronto as asylum seekers, but says her family's prospects are bleak if they are forced to return to South Korea, where they lived briefly after defecting from the North.
Hyekyung Jo admitted she and her husband misled Canadian officials when they arrived in Toronto as asylum seekers, but says her family's prospects are bleak if they are forced to return to South Korea, where they lived briefly after defecting from the North.   Torstar News Service

"It's almost impossible to get a good job [for North Koreans living in South Korea]. That's the reality."
"[North Koreans are] brainwashed by [immigration] brokers to tell lies [to Canadian officials that they arrived in Canada directly from China]."
"They [North Koreans seeking immigrant status] think it [changing names, dates of birth, etc.] is the only way to get into Canada. ... They just don't know any better."
Conservative MPP Raymond Cho, immigration critic
Clearly, living as oppressed and fearful citizens under a tyrannical regime such as North Korea's where its dynastic ruler sacrifices the peoples' well-being for his ambitions to achieve long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads to enable him to foment global destabilization through threats doesn't represent reason enough for the Liberal-led Government of Canada to instruct the Immigration Department to view North Koreans defecting from their dysfunctionally dangerous country as suitable to become landed immigrants in Canada.

How the government differentiates in favour of Syrian families fleeing the tyranny of the Syrian regime's Bashar al-Assad's horrendous attacks on his Sunni majority population in a bloody sectarian war, preferring to re-victimize North Koreans by abandoning their need, is a strange conundrum. One of the elected Members of Parliament that Justin Trudeau had elevated to a ministerial position, Afghanistan-heritage Maryam Monsef was discovered to have incorrectly listed her place of birth as Afghanistan when she was born in Iran.

An error she claims was revealed to her only recently by her mother who had identified Afghanistan not Iran on her refugee application. Belief can be suspended, given that Maryam arrived in Canada at age 11 with her mother and siblings, but they had been living in Iran, not Afghanistan where her mother had fled to escape Taliban rule, so the explanation that she did not know seems rather ingenuous. Is Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada prepared to send a letter to this Member of Parliament that she will be deported to Iran?

Just such a letter had been received by a number of North Koreans, up to fifty families living around the greater Toronto area. They were formally informed that their requests for permanent residency are on the verge of being revoked, with deportation to South Korea to follow. What concerns these North Koreans who have settled in Canada and have lived there for years is that North Korean nationals face outright social hostility in South Korea.

The October 30 advisement from Immigration Canada is based on the belief that the South Korean government grants automatic citizenship to North Koreans, and South Korea is recognized by Canada as a safe haven for refugees Hyekyung Jo and her husband in seeking asylum in 2010 informed refugee board authorities they had arrived in Canada directly from China, not from South Korea where they had lived for several years after escaping their country of birth.

Her husband had been under investigation for espionage in South Korea, making their return doubly problematical. Their oldest child was two when they arrived in Canada. Their six year-old and 9 month-old were both born in Canada, over the seven years they have lived in the country, where her husband, Kang works as a sushi chef. The Federation of North Korean Defectors organized a news conference to highlight the plight of these North Korean families in the Toronto area.

A few provincial Parliamentarians attended the conference, all of whom expressed their support for the North Koreans facing deportation. The Federal Government had compiled a list of 35 countries in 2013 considered safe for refugees, and South Korea is one of the countries on that list. MPP David Zimmer, minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation stated he felt "strongly" that the "federal government should find a way to allow for special circumstances for North Korean defectors", and he planned to raise the issue with  his federal counterparts.

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