“NKHRA Progress Report: Who Is Keyzer Soze?,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 23 November 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/11/nkhra-progress-report-who-is-keyzer.html (from Live from the FDNF).
“At the State Department…,” by Mi-Hwa, One Free Korea, 26 November 2005, http://www.haloscan.com/comments/stantonjb/113278554598136125/#133605.
“Mi Hwa…,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 27 November 2005, http://www.haloscan.com/comments/stantonjb/113278554598136125/#133611.
Props to Eddie of Live from the FDNF for alerting me to an OFK post that I missed.
Why, some of us want to know, has the North Korean Human Rights Act lodged in the State Department’s windpipe? Why, over a year after the bill was signed into law, does an executive agency that’s nominally answerable to the President of the United States fail to accept North Korean refugees who knock at the embassy gates? I specifically cite Section 303 of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, which is now binding law:
The Secretary of State shall undertake to facilitate the submission of applications under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [meaning, asylum applications] (8 U.S.C. 1157) by citizens of North Korea seeking protection as refugees (as defined in section 101(a)(42) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)).
In plain English, that means that our embassies violate federal law if they fail to “facilitate” asylum applications at our embassies abroad. Yet Tim Peters not only informs me that our embassies are refusing to take these refugees, he’s said the same to Congress under oath, and he has it on film, thanks to CNN. One overseas ambassador, so another source tells me, went so far as to seek legal advice from Foggy Bottom as to how to interpret the law. He was told in no uncertain terms not to ask again.
One Free Korea‘s Joshua Stantaon is a well respected blogger. He recently met with Ambassador John Bolton, and a plaque he designed now hangs prominantly in Bolton’s office. Maybe that’s why a government leaker has chosen OFK to release the news
My source says that Burns doesn’t want our State Department taking any actions that would unduly offend Kim Jong Il, such as taking in refugees, or letting any pesky part-time Special Envoy muck it all up with unpleasant remarks about investigating infanticides, concentration camps, or gas chambers. Hence, we hear relatively little from Lefkowitz, and shouldn’t expect to hear much more of consequence. Just to be sure–according to a different source–State has placed individuals sympathetic to the Burns world view in Lefkowitz’s office . . . to better keep him inside the range of his electronic ankle bracelet.
Nicholas Burns: Rogue Diplomat?
Of course, this is only a leak — it may not be true. Conceivable it could be part of a power play by a secret cabal – a conspiracy – to embarrass a pesky enemy. But given the State Department’s history of rogue policy, the news is all too believable.
On the story’s discussion thread,” Mi-Hwa wonders if Dr. Barnett’s old enemy, the Department of Homeland Security, is behind the trouble:
At the State Department, the buck stops at Condi Rice. She obviously does not welcome North Korean refugees. Homeland security is probably the reason — they don’t want North Korean spies or terrorists.
The news even has Joshua, a firm Republican, questioning Secretary Rice‘s leadership
Mi-Hwa, Other than your speculation about Homeland Security being the culprit (one doesn’t need one if my source is right about State), I’m actually forced to admit that I agree with you.
Condi Rice is responsible for what her subordinates and our ambassadors are doing, or failing to do. She has sworn to uphold our nation’s laws. She must be accountable if she fails to do this.
Unless we kill Kim, we break North Korea through connectivity — not guarding the gates of Pyongyang’s prisons for them.