Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia

Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia

Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia

Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia

Synopsis

The first book of its kind, " Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia" examines the complex problem of "what to do with North Korea"--specifically, regarding human rights issues and treatment of North Korean refugees.

The book spotlights four key countries--China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States--with regard to their policy stance towards North Korean human rights issues, analyzing the dynamic tension between realpolitik and moral principle by looking at the regional governments' responses. Rather than focusing only on politics and foreign policy, this book is about the people involved, describing the plight of North Korean refugees, the perspective of South Korean citizens, and the quandary facing power elites in the regional governments.

Excerpt

North Korea acknowledges the universality of human rights, while advocating “socialist democracy” and “our theory of human rights.” the contradictions lie in the obvious gap between rhetorical claims and empirical reality. the world order perceived by the country derives from the dialectical power struggle between the imperialists and the less powerful nations. the two exemplary imperialist countries are the hegemonic United States and the former colonial power of Japan, whereas the less powerful nations in their struggle against the imperialists include Cuba, Egypt, and Indonesia, among others. the sociopolitical order in the domestic realm is justified as proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeois class, whereby the revolutionary working class is entitled to rule over the corrupt members of the former landed class and collaborators under Japanese colonial rule, and of South Korean origin. Its socialist governing ideology justifies differential distribution of privileges among the populace.

The country has an elaborate classification system for the populace, but an individual citizen is not granted the right to know his own class category. the system has three major classification categories (i.e., core, shifting, and enemy), which are divided into 56 subcategories. the system is largely determined through variables of regime loyalty and family background. the basic frame for class positions was established in 1967 as a means of consolidating the power base of Kim Il-sung (1912–94), North Korea’s Eternal President. the system justifies differential protection of rights, depriving the majority of citizens of equitable opportunities for education, choice of . . .

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