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Responding to Reports that Kim Young Hwan Refused SK Government’s Diplomatic Support

May 18, 2012

[Press Release]

Committee for the Release of North Korean Human Rights Activist Kim Young Hwan
Contact: 02-723-6711, 010-8004-4849

Responding to Reports that Kim Refused South Korean Government’s Diplomatic Support

○ According to some media reports, Kim Young Hwan reportedly said, when meeting with a representative from the South Korean consulate in Shenyang, he did not want the South Korean government to get involved in his arrest since he could handle it on his own, and “government reaction might not be helpful in the trial.”

○ However, the Committee points out that Kim’s refusal of diplomatic support from the South Korean government is not confirmed but merely guessing.

○ Kim requested a consular interview, and the interview took place. A person who has requested a consular interview would have no reason to refuse further diplomatic support for his/her release.

○ Reportedly Kim only could talk about his health condition when meeting with the consul, since the consul was not his attorney. Also, a Chinese police officer was present at the meeting, and Kim was reportedly told not to talk about the nature of his arrest.

○ Based on what the Committee has learned, at the April 26 interview when the consul asked Kim about any violations of his human rights, Kim said, “Can I say such thing (in the presence of the Chinese police)?”

○ Therefore, it is likely that Kim was under pressure from the Chinese authorities. Furthermore, there was no reason for Kim to refuse diplomatic support. The confusion in media reports has been caused by a lack of clarity from the Chinese government about the arrests. We demand that the PRC government allow consular meetings and access to an attorney for the four arrested South Koreans.

Committee for the Release of North Korean Human Rights Activist Kim Young Hwan
May 18, 2012

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