North Korean defectors should be “put to death”, Daegu University law professor Yoon Jae-man said on Monday.
His controversial comments, which are now creating headlines throughout South Korean media, were made on November 25 in a group chat on South Korean chat service Kakao Talk and were reported conservative organization Action-Conscience.
“I hate these North Korea defectors more than pro-Japanese groups. North Korean defectors, who once conspired to destroy liberal democracy, should be put to death just like France killed people who engaged with the Nazis,” Yoon said.
According to Action-Conscience, Yoon made the controversial remarks in a group chat on the Korean chat network that went out to as many as 500 South Korean nationals with various different political beliefs.
A screenshot of the group chat showing Yoon’s comment was uploaded to the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity’s website on Tuesday by Jung Ham-cheol, head of the Action-Conscience group.
Jung said it was unacceptable that an incumbent law professor could make such derogatory comments about North Korean defectors simply because they are supported by the South Korean government.
“If he really made all the comments he’s accused of, it’s not much more than the ramblings of a mad man. Unfortunately it will get some attention in South Korea because of the politicization of talbukin (defector) issues and the high status of professors in South Korean society,” Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) told NK News.
“We should note though that the allegation comes from a kakaotalk message and the DailyNK reports that Yoon has accused the source of lying,” Park added.
The North Korean defector community has made a strong protest about Yoon’s comments. Yonhap News reported that Cho Myung-chul, the first North Korean defector to become a South Korean lawmaker, sued Yoon for libel on Wednesday
Ha Tae-kyung, a Saenuri Party lawmaker, said via a press release Wednesday that he feels “really sorry for North Korean defectors who came to South Korea to seek freedom”, especially given the number of defectors in South Korea has now reached about 26,000.
Ha urged Yoon as well as Daegu University to make official apology to North Korean defectors.
Action-Conscience , the group that drew attention to Yoon’s comments, is a conservative organization with a mission of saving Korean society by pursuing peaceful unification, true freedom, legitimate basic rights as a Korean citizen.
Main picture: Eric Lafforgue
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