Prepare for mass defections: Park
SEOUL: South Korean President Park GeunHye yesterday told her government to prepare for large-scale defections from North Korea, just days after directly appealing to its citizens to flee their country.
A recent spate of high-profile North Korean defections has provided a propaganda windfall for Seoul, which has spun them into a narrative of a Pyongyang leadership in crisis and riven with descent.
Notable defections have included the North’s deputy ambassador to UK and a rare group escape by a dozen waitresses from a North Korean-run restaurant in China.
Earlier this month, Park had vowed to “keep the road open” for future escapees and urged North Koreans to “come to the bosom of freedom in the South”.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting yesterday, Park reiterated her defection appeal, and stressed the importance of preparing the ground for any new arrivals.
The government currently runs two resettlement centres for defectors with a combined capacity of around 1,100 people.
South Korea’s top-selling Chosun Ilbo reported on Saturday that the government was planning a two trillion won (RM7.5 billion) project for building a defector camp that would hold up to 100,000 people. – AFP