A Chinese court delivers its verdict tomorrow on a Japanese aid worker charged with trying to help two Japan-born North Korean asylum seekers flee China, a Tokyo-based human rights group said yesterday. \nThe date of the court's judgment on Takayuki Noguchi appeared timed to avoid coinciding with a third round of six-nation talks in Beijing trying to defuse a crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The four-day talks ended yesterday. \n"He should not be arrested or persecuted like this. He is in no way a criminal," the group, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, said in a statement. \nNoguchi, 32, a member of the group, was arrested in Guangxi province in southern China last December while trying to help the asylum seekers flee to Cambodia. His trial opened in May. \nThe fate of the two asylum seekers, who had been abducted from Japan years before and taken to North Korea, is unknown. Chinese authorities released Noguchi's translator, a 29-year-old Chinese-Korean woman, in January. \nActivists say up to 300,000 North Korean refugees are hiding in northeast China after fleeing hunger, poverty and repression in their impoverished homeland. \nChina, which fought alongside the North during the 1950-53 Korean War, has an agreement with its neighbor to repatriate illegal North Korean migrants. \nBut apparently to avert Western criticism, Beijing has allowed scores of North Korean asylum seekers who have managed to gain access to foreign embassies and consulates in China in recent years to leave for South Korea via third countries.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
“Leaving a place that I love was very difficult. We’re all Hong Kong people who come out to protest because we love Hong Kong. But now we are forced to leave.” *Jay* is a former Hong Kong resident who attended many of last year’s protests, including on the front lines. He was arrested and charged with riot offenses, but fled the territory when he was being released on bail several months ago. He is now among dozens of Hong Kong residents seeking political asylum in Australia, and he has no expectation of returning home. “When I was taking the bus to the