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 Full text 
Thursday, 24 May 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Situation of North Korean refugees (debate)

  Frank Engel, author. − Mr President, as Gerald Häfner quite rightly said, North Korea is of concern to us mostly when the North Koreans are experimenting with nuclear weapons or with spacecraft, and all too rarely do we think about the terrible and indeed double predicament of the refugees that have fled this country.

Their predicament is double because first of all their vulnerability is immense. They normally come from indescribable material conditions and, when they make it to another country – and indeed China is the only option available in most cases – they have probably been in unspeakable distress for a long time. And, should they return or be returned, which is one of the problems that we address in the current resolution, their predicament would even increase, in that North Korea treats those that come back in a way that is often unimaginable, just because they previously wanted to flee.

These things are addressed in a comprehensive way in this resolution. The resolution is specifically about refugees. We are talking about thousands and thousands of people who have had no other choice but to flee their country because they do not even have anything to eat or to drink where they come from and they are often treated by China, which is the country that hosts most of them, in a way that is not exactly as we would want it to be.

This is also an appeal to China, whose help we need, to give these people the help that they require.

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