The South Korean government has announced the start of an audit of the officially registered North Korean refugee organizations to verify that they are in fact addressing the goals set out in their statutes following the controversy over the activism of two of these groups on the border.
In July, the Unification Ministry withdrew the permission of two organizations that refused to heed Seoul’s warnings not to broadcast any more propaganda to the neighboring country. Now he will examine in detail the activities of 25 groups registered in this department, 13 of which are directly administered by North Koreans.
“We started the inspection this week and plan to gradually expand its scope,” said a ministerial spokesman, Yoh Sang Key, at a press conference, according to Yonhap News Agency. “If we find any irregularities, there will be consequences, although it is too early to say which ones,” he warned.
The government has claimed in recent weeks that the activities of these groups can endanger national security, especially in border areas. However, for these organizations it is an attempt to silence them in order to avoid harm in the face of possible political rapprochement between Seoul and Pyongyang.