February 05, 2004

Gradations of Evil

Song Dae Ri has been judged an accomplice to the evil North Korean regime and is being denied asylum. Mr. Ri, a low level trade official, will be executed if deported.

This brings up a fairly difficult moral question. The truth is that the refugee board is correct when it says that Mr. Ri is complicit in crimes. Anybody who participates in the North Korean government is complicit. But this does not mean that Mr. Ri should, as consequence, be forced back to certain death in North Korea. This is disproportionate punishment, unfair and cruel in the extreme.

So, what to do? I would suggest that Mr. Ri might be given a sort of probationary asylum. He could be required to submit to judicial oversight and to present an effective plan consisting of a certain number of hours a week of constructive work educating people about the realities of North Korean life and the political system in which he was complicit. After the probationary period, he could go through the normal process of a refugee. This would provide atonement for his complicity, an actual contribution to Canada, and would not burden Canada with an unnecessary orphan, his son, who has already lost his mother to the executioner and has won Canadian asylum.

Posted by TMLutas at February 5, 2004 08:58 AM