27 December, 2011
Having filmed with a number of defectors in hiding in China, we are concerned for their sake and the thousands of other North Koreans who want to escape their country. Since the death of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean regime has cracked down on defectors, increasing their troops at the Chinese-North Korean border. China has alsoincreased their security at the border as well.
Jo Seong-Rae of Pax Koreana, a church-based activist group, said his contacts in China and the North were “lying low”, waiting to see whether Chinese officials will take heightened measures against North Korean defectors hiding in their country.
“I’m afraid defectors hiding in China will face an increased danger of capture from now on, with Beijing trying to boost ties with Jong-Un’s regime and prevent instability on the border,” he said. “It will probably become a lot tougher for North Koreans to get out of the country for a while.”
The 5 defectors we filmed with are thankfully still safe in Thailand. We continue to be in touch with them, as well as the guides based in China and Korea who helped them on their journey.