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The Weekly Brief

Just a quick update in case you missed it.

Released on 26.01.2024

Kenya-based S. Korean company aims to hire N. Korean defectors

A South Korean businessman said Wednesday he is seeking to hire North Korean defectors as he donated 30 million won ($22,420) to help them better resettle in the capitalist society. The contribution by Choi Young-chul, who runs a hair wig business in Kenya, will be used to fund six educational institutions for North Korean defectors in South Korea, the unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs said.

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Escape from North Korea and tell what life is like with Kim Jong-un

As one of the few North Korean defectors who can speak about the country’s situation during the pandemic, Mr. Kim Jong-un’s story is shedding light on the greater repression, economic and nutritional deterioration brought on by Covid-19. In an interview with EFE, he vividly recalls the coronavirus restrictions that began in his border province of South Hwanghae on May 13, 2021. Kim’s unique testimony has made him a potential target for the regime, as he is closely guarded by plainclothes police officers. He describes the devastating impact of the pandemic, with neighbors dying of starvation due to shortages caused by health restrictions and commercial blockades.

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Top Court Restores Hong Kong Activist's Conviction Over Banned Tiananmen Vigil

Hong Kong's top court on Thursday restored a prominent detained activist's conviction over a banned vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, marking the latest setback for the city's democracy supporters. Chow Hang-tung, a former leader of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, had been sentenced to 15 months in prison in January 2022 for inciting others to take part in the vigil banned by the police on public health grounds during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

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South Korea looks to EU and UN to boost pressure on North and China

South Korea has intensified its diplomatic efforts against North Korea and China, strengthening its alliance with the European Union in Brussels to counter threats from Pyongyang, while confronting Beijing at the United Nations over the repatriation of North Korean defectors. Kim Gunn, South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, visited the E.U. headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday and emphasized the necessity of collaborative responses to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile threats, the South’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

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The European Parliament Condemns China for Persecuting Falun Gong, Mentions Organ Harvesting Again

While the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) didn’t decrease in 2023, and the most recent report released by the movement denounces 209 new verified cases of persecution to death in 2023, bringing the total documented number of killed victims to over 5,000 since 1999, a decisive step has been taken by the European Parliament (EP). On January 18, 2024, the EP adopted a resolution “on the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China.

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Number of German Firms Leaving or Considering Leaving China Doubles, Survey Shows

The proportion of German companies that have either left China or are planning to leave China has more than doubled to 9% over the last four years, based on a survey from the German Chamber of Commerce in China. According to Reuters, 2% of the companies with operations in China surveyed said that they were selling off their business operations there, while another 7% said they were considering a sell-off. In 2020, just 4% of German firms were exiting or were planning to exit China. The survey also showed that 44% of German firms have taken steps to address risks linked to maintaining operations in China.

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World community urged to take ‘decisive’ action to stop Chinese genocide against Uyghurs

As China’s human rights record came up for Universal Period Review (UPR) at the UN, the Government-in-Exile of East Turkistan, also known as Xinjiang Province in China, has said the international community must move beyond the diplomatic means and urgently take “decisive” and “tangible” actions to stop genocide against Uyghur Muslims. The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) said it acknowledges the international community’s expression of concerns and recommendations regarding China’s egregious human rights atrocities in occupied East Turkistan (Xinjiang).

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