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On October 31, the Asian Culture Festival ‘Retro Made in Asia’ was held in Namur Expo in Belgium.

 

The festival is organized twice a year and is the biggest event in Belgium featuring the Asian culture.

 

Taking advantage of the event, members of the Belgium branch of North Korean Residents Society in EU organized an photo exhibition in front of the Expo centre on the issue of North Korea Human Rights.

 

Around 100 pieces of photo were exhibited, showing the horrendous Human Rights violations against North Korean residents as well as North Korean laborers. Part of the photos also demonstrated the inhumane side of policies of North Korean authority, directing foreign currency to the development of nuclear weapons and missiles and thereby neglecting the hardships of North Korean residents' lives.

 

A member of the Society who organized the photo exhibition said that he planned the event in the hope that North Korea would recognize the seriousness of the situation, reflected in the UN resolution discussed on October 30 in the UN General Assembly. He further said that North Korean authority should improve the Human Rights of its residents as well as step forward to make humanitarian policies such as the normalization of the meeting of separated families in two Koreas.

 

Members of the Society also distributed booklets and a statement describing North Korean residents' lives to participants of the event.

 

The statement urged the European society to support the UN resolution that was introduced on the 30th of October in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. It also denounced the Human Rights violations by North Korean dictatorial government and its exploitation of overseas workers. Furthermore, it introduced the European Parliament’s move to investigate the Human Rights issue of North Korean overseas workers.

 

Belgium citizens and foreign visitors who looked at the photos and read the statement agreed that the Human Rights situation of North Korean residents and overseas workers is serious and that the international society should pay more attention to the problems.

 

The local university student David gave his opinion on this issue that, for him, Human Rights stands for the freedom to watch, listen, speak and travel, but it seems that all these are being ignored in North Korea.

 

Members of the Society and volunteers for the event also showed to participants a video of reunion scene between separated families in the two Koreas.

 

Participants showed their particular interest in this family reunion video, surprised in finding that a 70 years old elderly met his 100 years old father from whom he was separated 65 years ago when he was only 5.

 

They deplored that this heart-breaking family separation should not happen in the modern society where transportation and telecommunication is highly developed and held defectors’ hands, wishing for the establishment of regular reunions of separated families in two Koreas and hoped that defectors could go back to their homeland in the near future.

 

Some Belgian young adolescents who came to the Festival wearing character masks of Asian games and comics helped in holding pickets brought by members of the Society, wishing that their support could reach North Korea and the international society.

 

Almost 5 thousands visited the Festival and hundreds of visitors participated in the North Korea Human Rights photo exhibition held by the North Korean Residents Society in EU

 





 

FreeNK new report team

ifreenk@gmail.com