Sankei: Summons for Overseas Children Retracted

Kim Jong Eun’s recent order that children of overseas employees return home to North Korea has been retracted, Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday.

The retraction was made around the end of September and the beginning of this month. Those children summoned back to the North may now reunite with their families overseas at their own expense, the report added.

“Many of those who were affected by the order were strongly opposed, so the North reversed their decision. It is unprecedented that the instructions from the supreme leader of North Korea are now facing resistance from both home and abroad,” the report explained.

According to the paper, a possible motive for initiating such a policy may have been to “preemptively block overseas students from criticizing the regime or seeking asylum.”

Some defectors believe that since Kim Jong Eun’s rise to power, cases have been rising in which children of some diplomats and overseas traders “go missing,” or entire families seek asylum in a third country.

As a precautionary measure, the North Korean authorities prefer the family of overseas personnel remain at home. However this has not been enforced over the last several years, defectors claim.

This is not the first time such a directive has been passed. In 2007, all children of overseas employees were ordered to return to North Korea; a deeply unpopular move at the time.