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LinkAsia | Apr 20
North Korea has demanded an apology from the South after anti-North Korean protesters took to the streets of Seoul to deface the DPRK flag and burn...
Now to another bilateral dispute. But this time, it's over a man and his claims of torture. Kim Young-hwan is a South Korean activist who campaigns for democracy in North Korea. He was imprisoned in China in March and charged with "endangering national security." In this interview with South Korean broadcaster MBC, he claims that Chinese authorities tortured him during his four-month detention.
Kim Young-hwan spoke out about the torture that he underwent for 114 days while detained in China.
Kim Young-hwan, South Korean Activist for North Korean Human Rights:
I was tortured by electric shock. It happened intensely on one night. I could smell my skin and hair burning.
Kim was able to meet the South Korean consul after 29 days in detention, after evidence of the torture had faded. Kim said that it was strange that the meeting had taken place after one month. Also, Kim revealed that China threatened to send him to North Korea.
From day one, I was threatened a few times with repatriation to North Korea, along with cruel torture.
After the torture was revealed, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade decided to talk with 625 South Koreans who were also detained in China to investigate whether they were tortured.
Jo Tae-young, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
China is involved in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Treatment. Therefore, we urge a more thorough investigation of this issue in the spirit of the convention.
The South Korean government will support Kim if he reports this issue to the UN. If China keeps denying the torture, the government will consider raising this issue before the international community. On the other hand, China has rejected all of Kim's allegations and insists that it guarantees Kim's legitimate rights.