Journalist Kirsty Taylor surveys NGO leaders related to North Korean humanitarian aid and human rights advocacy for their views on the impact of Kim Jong-il’s death on conditions for the average North Korean citizen. Quotes from HHK’s founder/director: “Tim Peters, who founded Helping Hands Korea which aids North Korean defectors in China, thought any new direction in leadership would take a long time to impact the lives of ordinary North Koreans.
“It is going to take time for these changes to be felt at a low level across society. We can always hope, but I myself am rather doubtful whether we are going to see an opening up of the country or the economy,” he said.
He expected more people would wish to flee the country following Kim’s death, in spite of recent crackdowns by North Korea and China making it harder to cross the border.
“More and more people will continue to see defecting as the most reasonable measure for them to take.”