The 8 May attempt of seven North-Korean citizens to get to South Korea has caused a group diplomatic conflict, in which 5 countries were engaged. The point through which the five Koreans (two men, two women, and child) wanted to get abroad was Shenyan, the biggest city of Northeast China, and to be more exact, that were two “diplomatic points” – consulates of the US and Japan. In the first one, the Koreans successfully overpassed the guard and got to the US territory, while in the second, the Koreans were detained by Chinese guard. As a result, Japan accused China of incursion into its territory (because the consulate video camera shot that the police had caught the escapers already on the consulate territory). South Korea put claims both on China and Japan (on China for its putting obstacles to Koreans, while on Japan for its inactivity when the escapers were fighting with their pursuers). While the US, of course, accused China and North Korea. North Korea is dissatisfied with South Korea (because of its setting-on escapes) and with China (because of its connivance). A couple of months ago, when a crowd of North Korean men, women, and children forced their way through gate of Spanish embassy in Beijing, Chinese authorities, after some diplomatic negotiations, allowed to the escapers to depart for Philippines (from where they immediately departed for Seul). That step was approved of by the “civilized community” and – stimulated the appetite. Afterwards, escapes of North Korean citizens through German and US embassies in Beijing followed. The recent Shenyan events are certainly not the last, if even the guard of diplomatic objects is not strengthened. The mountain north of Korean Peninsula has never managed to feed itself with its own grain. All the more it is impossible now, when there is no support of the USSR and China, while US economical blockade was toughened. This “not very fat” life in North Korea makes its citizens commit desperate steps. All the more that the process of inter-Korean reconciliation was disrupted of the US administration’s will. The US – that is the proper address for the main accusation the other sides of the conflict could bring: China, Japan, and both Koreas.
Andrei Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/11/40963.html