Chinese group wants a rally against Pyongyang

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Chinese group wants a rally against Pyongyang

BEIJING - As China seems to grow more disgruntled with Pyongyang’s behavior, the largest civilian anti-nuclear organization in China plans to stage a protest in front of the North Korean consulate in Shenyang.

Jiang Lijun, head of the Chinese Civilian Anti-nuclear Club, said the organization plans to rally in front of the North Korean consulate in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, in Northeast China, within two days, as soon as officials grant it permission to do so.

It wants to protest North Korea’s vow to restart its 5-megawatt nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, which was closed in 2007.

“The restarting of the Yongbyon reactor is a nuclear threat coming from North Korea’s mobster-like government,” the anti-nuclear group said in a statement yesterday, “that even Chinese cannot shut their eyes to.”

Pyongyang announced Tuesday it would restart the Yongbyon reactor.

The group’s statement went on to say that responses by the Chinese Foreign Ministry every time there was a North Korean nuclear threat - usually saying “it’s regrettable” or that “involved countries need to stay calm” - were “not effective at all and do not fulfill [China’s] responsibilities and duties as a superpower and UN Security Council permanent member.”

Regarding the ongoing joint military exercises by South Korea and the U.S., the anti-nuclear group said it “supports the joint military drills to eliminate Kim Jong-un and his mobster-like government” and that “the joint forces need to make a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and save North Korean civilians, who are struggling in deep waters and in the depth of fire.”

With around 20 core members, the organization was launched last year and is comprised mainly of human rights activists.

Its head, 47-year-old dissident writer Jiang, told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday in Tieling in Liaoning province, “As soon as officials grant permission, we will hold a peaceful rally with people supporting the same cause across the nation. Though we are not sure yet, we expect several thousand to show up.” Jiang was imprisoned for years for subversion for calling for political reform in China.

He added that authorities granted permission for rallies in Shenyang to protest the North’s third nuclear test in February.

If permission is not granted, Jiang said, the group can use the Internet to spread awareness. He added that one-man protests are allowed by the authorities. “I would be the first to do so, barefooted,” he said.

“The North Korea issue is a problem related to the security of Northeast Asia, but the [Chinese] government is too irresponsible,” said Jiang, asking for more “substantive action.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed “serious concern” regarding the North’s blocking of access to the Kaesong Industrial Park yesterday.

“My opinion is that Korean and U.S. joint forces have to eliminate the Kim Jong-un regime through a pre-emptive strike,” said Jiang.


By Choi Hyung-kyu [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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