On July 31, a North Korean defector and her
son were found dead at an apartment in Gwanak Province, Seoul. It has been
revealed that she was transported from North Korea to China via sex
trafficking, and thereon was briefly sold to a Chinese man, whom she escaped
from with her disabled son. Even his disability was caused by unceasingly repeated abuses of his own father during his mom's pregnancy.
Despite her efforts to settle in South Korea by herself, her
son's health issues prevented her from working, and governmental aid for North
Korean refugees ended after a meager 6 months. Her coworkers believed that she
had returned to China, but she was found dead with her son after a few months
of disappearance. Nobody knew what happened to them, but the police claimed
that the condition of the bodies suggests no cause of death other than
In South Korea,
possessing a mobile telephone is not luxury, but a necessity of life. Without
one, a person cannot identify oneself as a member of the society; this is
All extremely poor citizens of South Korea
are suffering from this condition.
To commemorate and spread
the news, several foundations and organizations have gathered at Gwanghwamun
Plaza on August 14th placed a temporary memorial altar. The organizations
have been running a signature campaign to file a petition, claiming that the
Moon government must explain themselves and take responsibility for this
Many people showed interest and participated in this campaign, and
various opposing-party politicians and human rights advocates visited the altar
to pay respects and share their thoughts. However, the Moon government is not
giving any public response about the matter, and major press companies are
either not giving it enough attention, or trying to hide it.
The South Korean
government must face the gravity of this tragedy. A social minority was starved
to death, in a country that calls itself “welfare society” and “developed nation”; a nation led by a president whose slogan was “To save lives,” and promised a completely
changeover of the nation’s welfare.
If Moon kept any of his
promises, he has kept one: a complete changeover. A tragedy that South Korea,
unlike North Korea, is supposed to be immune to has happened for the first time
in decades. If the Moon government cares even for a fraction of what they claimed
about social minorities, they must make a public response and act accordingly.