Actor Jung Woo Sung, who is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, spoke about the Yemeni refugee issue in Jeju Island. Since the end of 2017, more than 550 Yemeni refugees have been stuck on Jeju Island. They traveled to Jeju Island as tourists but applied for asylum to stay on Jeju Island due to the war in Yemen and they have been there ever since.
The year-end press conference for the U.N refugee agency was held on Monday, December 14th. Jung Woo Sung was scheduled to attend in person on this day but was recently classified as an individual who came into close contact with an infected COVID-19 patient; therefore, he had to appear through a video conference because he was in self-quarantine.
He mentioned, "I think most of the Yemeni refugees who entered Jeju Island have settled down well as members of our community."
He continued to say, "unlike what some feared, the refugees who entered into Jeju were not dangerous to our society."
The actor stated that the refugees have proved themselves to be members of the Korean society by being faithful and diligently living their lives for the past two years.
Jung Woo Sung also added that he is not saying we should put refugees first. He explained, "I'm not saying that we should put refugees ahead of the existing socially disadvantaged. The idea is to share the awareness of the refugee issue, not to put more importance on them. In the case of the COVID19, it is something we have to overcome someday and will eventually disappear, but the number of refugees will increase still."
Jung Woo Sung continued his speech by saying, "When I first started working with the U.N. refugee agency, there were 40 million refugees in the global community, but now there are nearly 80 million. It's time to think about the cause of the increasing numbers and how we can co-exist together."
Meanwhile, Jung Woo Sung has been serving as a goodwill ambassador since last year, and he started working with the UN refugee agency as an honorary envoy in 2014.
He has visited refugee camps in Lebanon, South Sudan, and Rohingya around the world. He has also made remarks on the Yemeni refugee crisis on Jeju Island, calling for the attention and support of refugees.