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Korean Government Expels Norbert Vollertsen

Joshua Stanton, Correspondent in Washington DC  |  2005-06-08 13:08
[imText1]Dr. Norbert Vollertsen, the man who brought the horrors of North Korea to the world's attention, reports that he has been expelled from South Korea.

Vollertsen, who admits allowing his South Korean visa to expire, had been in South Korea on a series of tourist visas, which require holders to leave and reenter South Korea for extensions.

On a previous reentry, Vollertsen had been detained and asked to sign a statement agreeing to discontinue his political activities; he was released when journalists arrived at the location where he was detained.

Vollertsen reports that South Korean officials have told him that he would not be granted further tourist visas because of his political activities.

The full text of Dr. Vollertsen's e-mail message describing his expulsion is here. More information:

Background on Dr. Vollertsen's activities more here.
• His book, Diary of a Mad Place, describing his time as a volunteer doctor in North Korea.
• News report on his arrest and beating by South Korean police for trying to launch balloons to carry radios into North Korea.
• News report on South Korean police and North Korean "journalists" beating him and others for peacefully protesting human rights violations in North Korea.
My own discussion and defense of some of Dr. Vollertsen's controversial activism.
A report of the last time South Korea detained Dr. Vollertsen and threatened to expel him.
• Some of his reports as a member of a South Korean tsunami relief medical team here, here, here, and here.

Dr. Vollertsen will continue his activities in Japan. The issue is likely to come in during Roh Moo-Hyun's visit to the White House next week. Brilliant timing, guys.
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