Just a few hundred Yemeni refugees have created a national political crisis in Korea.

06-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Slate | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Just a few hundred Yemeni refugees have created a national political crisis in South Korea.

In late 2016, South Koreans took to the streets for months of massive protests against government corruption that became known as the “Candlelight Revolution.” At one point, crowds in Seoul were estimated at over 1 million. The overwhelmingly peaceful protests deposed President Park Geun-hye and landed her behind bars. The protesters achieved tangible results, garnering international praise for their organised, nonviolent political activism.

Now, hundreds of thousands of Koreans are back in the streets, and though they haven’t swelled to quite the same size as the anti-Park demonstrations, they are once again too large to ignore. These protests, which began in June, are against the presence of about 500 Yemeni refugees on the island of Jeju (the nation’s southernmost territory and a tourism hot spot billed as “Korea’s Hawaii”). On an island with 660,000 residents, and in a nation of over 50 million, it’s a negligible amount of peopleespecially considering that South Korea has the 11th-largest economy in the world. But 500 is considered far too many in a country that accepts fewer refugees than almost any comparable nation. (Only about 4 percent of applicants are accepted.)

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/yemen-refugees-south-korea-jeju-island.html

 


Category: Korea

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