[The Financial Times] Kim Jong Un’s comeback

12 Dec 2023

On November 9, The Financial Times covered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's consolidation of power during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pyongyang has taken advantage of the geopolitical tensions and bolstered relationships with Beijing and Moscow, which allowed North Korea to erode the international sanctions regime against it. Kim continued to put the country's nuclear and missile programs on top of his list and tightened his grip on power through restrictions on outside information and enhancing surveillance of the people. Hanna Song, Director of International Cooperation at NKDB, pointed to China's recent repatriation of North Korean escapees defying international opposition as one aspect of the closer ties between Beijing and Pyongyang.

At the same time, Kim continues to benefit from the patronage of Beijing, which has been accused by human rights campaigners of colluding in crimes by the North Korean regime against its own people.

Hanna Song, of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) in Seoul, points to China’s decision last month to forcibly repatriate hundreds of North Korean refugees in the face of international opposition.

“It was a huge win for Kim,” says Song, adding the refugees faced a high likelihood of torture and execution. “The US Congress, the governments of several different countries, big human rights organisations and UN representatives were all demanding for it to be stopped, but Beijing did what Kim wanted instead.”

You can read the full article on The Financial Times website by clicking HERE.

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