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Gil-Su Meets With Brother in Seoul

Posted July. 01, 2001 21:07,   


As the Gil-Su`s family arrive in Seoul safely, the government will hold the Supreme Committee of the National Security Council to establish the measures to resolve the problems of the North Korean defectors.

A government authority said yesterday that ``even though the Gil-Su’s family arrive in Seoul safely through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Beijing, the resolutions of the North Korean refugees seem to be more complicated by the increased concerns of the international society.``

The government official added that, at the meeting of the NSC`s Supreme Committee, the government will discuss the measures to prevent the negative effects caused by the Gil- family`s deportation.

Gil-Su`s seven family members entered the South on June 30 via Singapore and Philippine. A day before their arrival, Gil-Su`s other family members, including his brother Han-Gil and the maternal uncle, whose traces had been kept secret, arrived in Seoul on Friday via a third country. And finally the family dramatically reunited yesterday in the South.

The government official welcomed the China`s response to this incident, saying that ``the Chinese government adopted a wise policy, considering the situation [of the Korean peninsula and its relationship with the North]. The process has positively affected the more credible relationship between Korean and China.`` The UNHCR also welcomed the Gil-Su family`s arrival in Seoul.

The U.S. State Department commented on June 29 that the U.S. welcomes the measure of China that allowed a North Korean family to leave China for a third country. The comment added that the U.S. believes that China would follow the humanitarian procedure according to its international responsibility.

The Gil-Su family, the protagonists of the deportation memoirs The Rainbow With Tears, entered into the office of the UNHCR in Beijing on June 26 and had requested for the China`s acknowledgement of the family as refugees and had asked for the political asylum in the South. The family was sent to Singapore under the deportation order of China and finally arrived in Seoul via Manila in Philippine after the four day journey.

The 15 members of the Gil-Su family had escaped from the North to China in five separate groups and had a new baby born in China. However, 6 members of the family, including Gil-Su`s mother were expelled to the North. Gil-Su`s mother and another member are known to be currently imprisoned in a political concentration camp and the traces of the others are not identified.

Kim Young-Sik spear@donga.com