World Ch. Schedule : TUE 22:30 KST
* Date : 2018-07-10
Questions surrounding refugees from abroad has rattled South Korean society at its very core, in the aftermath of revelations that 500 Yemeni refugees had entered the country's southernmost Jeju-do Island. These refugees had arrived in the country between January and May of this year via Jeju-do Island's visa-waiver policy. A fierce debate over their status has erupted in the country, after a large majority these Yemeni migrants applied to be granted asylum. South Korea began accepting refugee applications in 1994 and more than 40,000 individuals have applied as of May, 2018, with around 800 people, or four percent of the total, being officially granted refugee status. The refugee issue has never been a point of serious debate in South Korea for the last 20 years, but it is now heating up following this unprecented influx of migrants into the country.
While the refugee issue has only recently come to the spotlight in South Korea, Europe has been grappling with a serious migrant crisis that has been ongoing for many years. At the EU summit on June 29, a joint statement outlining key agreements on the continent's refugee policy was adopted. The 28 leaders of the EU member states deliberated all throughout the night to strike this deal, reflecting the serious nature of the migrant crisis that has long-plagued the continent. When a large number of refugees from countries like Syria, Sudan and Afghanistan began migrating to Europe in the years following 2010, the initial response from the public was receptive, in light of their humanitarian plight. However, anti-refugee sentiments are now on the rise in Europe, empowering various far-right, populist movements that have changed the continent's political landscape. Far-right parties in Italy, France and even Germany, which has maintained one of Europe's most open-border policies, have now witnessed a significant rise in their level of support. In this week's edition of "Foreign Correspondents", we sit down with our panel of journalists to discuss the issue of refugees in more detail.
Frédéric Ojardias, Journalist / Radio France Internationale
Anton Scholz, Journalist / ARD TV&Radio
Horiyama Akiko, Journalist / Mainichi Newspapers