This important book focuses on North Korean refugee human rights issues—a topic largely ignored in favor of addressing North Korea’s domestic politics and deterrence of Pyongyang’s nuclear threat.
Why have powerful first-world nations been unable—or unwilling—to effect meaningful improvement regarding the treatment of North Korean refugees? The difference in actual policy behavior versus various governments' rhetorical support of human rights protection reveals the core issue of nuclear deterrence hiding behind the issues of human rights and refugee protection in North Korea.
The first book of its kind, Securitization of Human Rights: North Korean Refugees in East Asia examines the complex problem of “what to do with North Korea”—specifically, regarding human rights issues and treatment of North Korean refugees.
The book spotlights four key countries—China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States—with regard to their policy stance towards North Korean human rights issues, analyzing the dynamic tension between realpolitik and moral principle by looking at the regional governments' responses. Rather than focusing only on politics and foreign policy, this book is about the people involved, describing the plight of North Korean refugees, the perspective of South Korean citizens, and the quandary facing power elites in the regional governments.
• Adopts a unique, multidisciplinary approach to better address the questions of "Why and how do North Korean human rights issues remain as a peripheral security concern in the region?" and "Who are the main actors involved in the foreign policy and interactive domain?"
• Utilizes comparative and statistical analyses to clearly show how and why four regional governments in East Asia have taken different policy stances towards North Korea for its human rights records
• Draws on a wide range of data sources, such as in-depth interviews with policy makers and North Korean refugees, governmental statistics, archival materials, internet blogs, and published narratives