[imText1]After last 22th 4 asylum seekers came into South Korea, who sought a refuge to the Korean embassy in Hungary, the overseas political asylum of diplomats and traders is getting an attention from the world once again. Currently, they are under examination and afterwards, their identity and defecting motives will be revealed.
From the 1990’s to now, dozens of North Korean diplomats in North Korea and legation abroad have asked for political asylum in South Korea. Then, why and how do they want to ask for political asylum?
Kim Tae San(defected in 2002) who was a CEO in a NK state-owned shoes company located in the Czech Republic said that, “These 4 asylum seekers were likely to defect for freedom with their family”. Mr. Kim explained that, “Overseas political asylum seekers usually want to go to Europe, South Korea or America”, adding “In case of being not good at international languages or missing their home countries, they usually want to go to South Korea”.
Life overseas is more abundant and freer than that in North Korea. If people who were under thorough surveillance and control in North Korea live abroad and realize how important ‘freedom’ is, they come to ask for political asylum for ‘freedom’.
The North Korean government, which well knows about the fact, more closely, desperately watches their diplomats in North Korean and legation abroad to prevent them from ‘betraying’. Yet, because putting them under the control of the government is not easy, the North Korean government tightens the control two or three folds with all means.
Prohibition against Individual Passports to Prevent Defection, Political Asylum and Travels
First of all, North Koreans are free to travel, because they cannot get individual passports. From the last 1980’s, the North Korean government prohibited individuals from getting their own passports to prevent defection, political asylum or travels of North Korean diplomats and traders. As soon as overseas public officials including ambassadors arrive at a North Korean airport, then the government collects and keeps their passports in the document scales of an embassy.
The staffs of the National Security Agency dispatched by the Central Party Committee abroad are charged of the task that the fulfillment of obligations are confirmed and the tendencies are regularly reported.
This principle is also applied to general North Koreans. If North Koreans arrive at an airport abroad, staffs of embassies collect their passports, with doing formalities for entry, and if they go out of other countries, the staffs return the passports to them right before boarding.
If they are ambassadors or CEOs of state-owned companies, it is possible to have their own passports. Except for the cases, having an individual passport is not plausible, and if necessary, one has to gain a permission from ambassadors.
Kim Il Sung, “Even Diplomats Cannot Act Alone”
Kim Il Sung was known to instruct the order that, “Even diplomats is not allowed to act alone, only in couple or three people together”. This is the evidence showing how strict the surveillance of the North Korean government is towards officials staying abroad.
The staffs of the Social Safety Agency and the National Security Agency are dispatched to the North Korean embassies abroad. They watch closely every action of diplomats in legation abroad to prevent their ideological confusion and system secession in advance. The staffs of the National Security Agency keep watching individual private lives with a two or three folds monitoring system. If they find something problematic, at once they report that to the North Korean government. The official in question is summoned to North Korea.
The staffs also watch closely the aspects about which diplomat or wife of diplomats tell what, gets along with which person, where to go out, and how to learn Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung revolutionary ideology. Even they used to search the drawers of desks to see what kinds of journals or novels diplomats read.
NK Diplomats, No Single
All North Korean diplomats should be married. When the North Korean government dispatches diplomats to other countries, it gives priority to the married. Singles tend to hurry to marry. It is because they can go abroad. The reason why North Korea first sends the married abroad is that so-called ‘revolutionary achievement’ can be fulfilled because of no sexual desire.
In case of a diplomat who has not a women to marry or is not married because of no successful matching, he first is sent abroad and forced to be married, which is so-called ‘parcel marriage’. The ‘parcel marriage’ is that the Central Party Committee forces to marry a woman, who was educated and sent as a wife of the diplomat by the Committee. The opinion of the diplomat is ignored and he has to live with her after a short ceremony. That is, like a parcel, for a diplomat to unavoidably marry a woman sent is ‘parcel marriage’.
North Korea almost always urges diplomats to go abroad leaving their children and wife behind. To prevent defection or asylum, North Korea takes their families as hostages. Because of it, most of the defectors say “sorry” to their families remaining in North Korea.
Attempts upon Their Lives towards ‘Freedom’
The asylum seekers who came into South Korea 28th would have asked for asylum for freedom from two or three fold surveillance system. That is, it is likely that because their deviation(?) for freedom was exposed to staffs of the National Security Agency, they asked for asylum not to be forced to come back to North Korea.
Although North Korea tightens its control and surveillance more and more, it cannot stop human desire for freedom. North Korean diplomats in legation abroad live under strict surveillance as much as or more than when they are in North Korea. What they see and realize in free states would make them defect upon their lives.