Securitization of Human Rights
North Korean Refugees in East Asia
by Mikyoung Kim
February 2012, 216pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36407-5
$63, £49, 55€, A87
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36408-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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.

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.

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.

Mikyoung Kim is associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, Hiroshima City University, Japan. She was a Fulbright visiting professor at Portland State University, OR, and served with the U.S. State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, as a public diplomacy specialist. She has published many articles on memory, human rights, and gender in Northeast Asia. Kim is coeditor of Northeast Asia's Difficult Past: Essays in Collective Memory and North Korean Review.

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