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North Korean Defectors to Rally on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Contact: Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea, 82-70-8256-3799, r2pnorthkorea@gmail.com

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 25, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- North Korean refugees and human rights activists will rally on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to tell the world that genocide must stop.

Over 5,000 people are expected to join the mass demonstrations, which will be held at the Seoul Station Plaza in Seoul, South Korea, as well as other locations in Jakarta, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Berlin, New York, London and Tokyo. Organized by the non-partisan Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea (WCSGNK), the demonstrations are part of an international general strike which will take place on Friday, Jan. 27, the same day that Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz, the largest forced-labor and extermination camp for Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1945.

That date was chosen so that the public might know that in our day, genocide, forced labor and horrific mass atrocities occur every day in North Korea, said a spokesperson for WCSGNK.

"North Korea is actively targeting for destruction every group protected under the U.N. Genocide Convention, through its decades-long policy of killing the half-Chinese babies of North Korean women forcibly repatriated by China -- constituting genocide on national, ethnical and racial grounds -- and its systematic annihilation of its indigenous religious population and their families," reported the spokesperson. "To date, the DPRK is responsible for the death, starvation and torture of millions of innocents."

Over 5,000 people are expected to participate in a mass demonstration from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Seoul Station Plaza. It will be followed by a mass march to the Chinese Embassy. This will make it the largest demonstration to date to specifically target the DPRK genocide and crimes against humanity. Speakers will include Mr. Jong Hoon Son and Mr. Seong Ho Ji. Son is the president of the Vision Network of North Korean Defectors. Son's brother was executed by DPRK for practicing Christianity.

Ji is the president of Now Action and Unity for Human Rights (NAUH) in Seoul. Ji is severely physically disabled yet managed to escape North Korea on crutches in 2006 and has been holding demonstrations every Saturday along with other North and South Korean young people and college students for North Korean human rights since April 2010.

Also speaking will be Mr. Chol-Hwan Kang, former child prisoner at Yodok concentration camp and author of the Aquariums of Pyongyang, Mr. Seong-min Kim, executive director of Free North Korea Radio, Mr. Yoon-geul Lee, president of North Korea Strategic Information Service Center and Mr. Chun-young Im, president of the Free North Korea Military Union. Im, a former member of the DPRK military elite, will speak concerning the state-commissioned practice of chemical and biological weapon experimentation on political prisoners in North Korea.

At 4:30 p.m., demonstrators will deliver a letter to the Chinese Government, imploring its members to stop repatriations of North Korean refugees. As an ally to the DPRK, the Chinese government currently returns refugees found in China to North Korea, where refugees face torture, imprisonment in concentration camps, and execution for the "crime" of leaving the country, in violation of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, its 1967 Protocol and the UN Convention Against Torture.

Activists also hope the demonstration will urge South Korean leaders to act for refugees in China through diplomatic protection, the spokesperson said.

"They are citizens of the Republic of Korea and refugees under International law," said Robert Park, a Korean-American human-rights activist who was detained in North Korea for 43 days and was tortured in 2009, after crossing the border demanding the DPRK release all of its estimated 250,000 political prisoners. "We need to break the prejudice in South Korea. We want to honor the defectors as the leaders of this movement."

If South Korean leaders interceded strongly in behalf of the refugees in China on the grounds that they are citizens of the Republic of Korea according to South Korea's constitution, they could prevent mothers and small children from being returned to DPRK where children have been systematically murdered for being part-Chinese and mothers executed or placed in concentration camps, Park said.

The DPRK runs a network of concentration camps where an estimated 1 million innocents have been murdered in silence and 250,000 political prisoners, one-third of them children are forced to perform slave labor and are deliberately starved and subject to systematic rape and torture, according to reports from WCSGNK.

Genocide Watch, a Washington-based international nongovernmental organization that seeks to end genocide, said in a report last month that North Korea has "committed genocide and political mass killings," and is "a serial killer state."

On Genocide Watch Board of Advisors is Samantha Power, senior director for multilateral affairs at the U.S. National Security Council. Park said he wants to meet with Power to discuss convincing national governments to invoke the "responsibility to protect."

For More information or to request an interview, contact Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea (non-partisan) at