North Korean Defector Claims South Koreans are American Puppets in Interview

I would not be surprised if this guy is a North Korean plant in South Korea to say propaganda like what is in this article or is being told to say these things for fear of harm to family members back in North Korea.  It is like he is just repeating things straight from the Uriminzokkiri Twitter account:

Five years into his resettlement, the defector says the social environment is so different from the North that calls for unification no longer ring true for him.

“It’s better there is no unification,” he said. “If unification takes place now, only civil war and chaos would erupt,” as South Korea is not ready to deal with a flood of refugees coming to Seoul in the event of the Kim regime’s collapse.

He said discrimination is an obstacle and his fellow defectors struggle in menial jobs.

It is frosty indifference that is the greatest barrier to adjustment, he said, suggesting the real “nuclear” catastrophe on the peninsula has already happened with the nuclearization of Korean lives.

South Koreans “take no interest in your life,” he said. “There is not one person who wants to be your friend. In apartment buildings here, they do not even know who their next-door neighbors are.”

By contrast, in North Korean apartment communities, families “gather on the rooftop to play together, drink soju together and eat,” he said. “In South Korea you cannot have that kind of enjoyment. South Koreans only seek you out when they need you.”

He also criticized South Korea’s politics.

“South Korea has no ideology of its own,” he said.

“I came hoping to contribute to the healing of a divided country…but after living here I think it’s accurate to say South Koreans are [American] puppets,” he added, using the term commonly used to refer to South Korea in North Korea propaganda.

He also said South Koreans fear being at odds with the United States. “That’s why Americans don’t even regard [South] Koreans as human beings, or Asians in general,” he said.  [UPI]

Here is what he had to say about defectors who have testified about human rights abuses:

“There’s too much focus on North Korea’s human rights abuses, too little on how it is a society constructed for the people,” he said, adding the defectors who expose human rights violations represent the worst of North Korean society.

“If you only bring together people who spent time in prison, all you get is the gutter,” he said, adding that many defector testimonies in United Nations Commission of Inquiry reports are “lies.”

“They should all be put away.”  [UPI]

You can read more at the link.

Five North Koreans Sail Small Boat to South Korea to Defect

Here is the latest defections from North Korea:

Five North Koreans in a small boat crossed the sea border into South Korean waters Saturday, a Coast Guard official said, in an apparent bid to defect to the South.

The five people, including four men and one woman, have expressed their wish to live in the South as defectors, the Yonhap news agency reported.

“Coast guards guided the boat to safety at (the eastern port of) Mukho,” a South Korean coast guard official told AFP.

Government authorities were questioning the five North Koreans, he added.  [AFP]

You can read more at the link.

North Korean Man Swims Across Mouth of Han River to Defect to South Korea

A second defector has crossed over the DMZ in a week:

A North Korean man defected to South Korea on Sunday after crossing the border, Seoul’s military said.

He was spotted at the northern part of the mouth of the Han River in Gimpo, just west of Seoul, according to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The JCS said the man, in his early 20s, was spotted around 2:30 a.m. Sunday near the observation post of the Second Marine Division. Questioning is under way to find out what caused him to flee to the South.

The man is said to have swum his way south with plastic foam pieces on both shoulders to stay afloat. The JCS said he was discovered at a particularly narrow stretch in the river.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Prominent North Korean Defector Predicts Popular Uprising Against Kim Jong-il

Unlike many other places in the world a popular uprising in North Korea I don’t think will do much.  This is because the Kim regime will just kill the people and then pretend it didn’t happen just like what their primary sponsors in Beijing did at Tiananmen Square back in 1989.  What I do see the outside information flowing in doing is discrediting the regime with the North Korean public.  This would make it easier for someone in the military down the road perhaps to launch a coup with little public resistance:

Thae Yong-ho

North Korea’s former deputy ambassador to Britain has told a group of reporters that a “popular uprising” against North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is imminent. Thae Yong Ho, who defected to South Korea in August of 2016, said that sanctions against the regime and its inability to control the flow of information about the outside world were weakening its grip on authority.

Thae’s comments came during a press conference in Seoul, the first time he has spoken to international media since his defection.

During the press conference, Thae, who speaks fluent English, declared that “Kim Jong-Un’s days are numbered,” as information about the outside world becomes more accessible. “Low-level dissent or criticism of the regime, until recently unthinkable, is becoming more frequent,” he added.  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link.