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Disco group Boney M to show support for N. Korean defectors

All Headlines 17:48 April 16, 2012

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- The well-known disco group Boney M plans to show support for North Korean defectors who face repatriation in China during their visit to Seoul this week for a concert, the event organizer said Monday.

The four-member vocal group, which achieved massive popularity during the disco era of the late 1970s, is scheduled to play a concert in Seoul Saturday and will donate part of ticket sales to a local defectors group, according to Howard Kim, manager of concert promoter Btechnic.

"Boney M thought the issue of forceful repatriation of North Korean defectors is in line with the philosophy of their songs," Kim said, adding the group will hold a press conference in Seoul Tuesday to urge Beijing not to repatriate defectors detained in China.

Some 100 North Korean defectors are reportedly in detention in China and face deportation back to their communist homeland, where it is feared they will receive harsh punishment and even execution, according to a South Korean lawmaker.

At the height of their popularity, the group released “By the Rivers of the Babylon" in 1978, which became the second highest selling single in British chart history. The song, which was also Boney M's only U.S. Top 40 hit, is about freedom for the oppressed.

"Boney M is scheduled to visit the Chinese Embassy (in Seoul) Wednesday to show support for defectors who are on a hunger strike and participate in a candelight rally (against forceful repatriation)," Kim said.

Defectors and activists have been staging hunger strikes to protest against Beijing's policy of repatriation in front of China's mission in Seoul. Most recently, high-profile South Korean lawmakers have joined the rallies.

khj@yna.co.kr
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