In the News – Clinton urges China to stop repatriation of N. Korean defectors
By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, March 9 (Yonhap) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear Friday that her government is opposed to the forceful repatriation of North Korean refugees, a breach of international agreements.
“We urge every country to act according to international obligations,” such as the 1951 U.N. refugee convention and the 1967 protocol, Clinton said in a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan after their talks at the State Department building in Washington.
She was responding to a question on China’s policy of sending back North Korean defectors to their authoritarian and impoverished nation. Recently, China has repatriated around 30 North Koreans, according to human rights activists, although there is no government-level confirmation. Continue reading →
In the News – 2 Koreas to Debate N.Korean Defectors at UN
The UN special rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights, Marzuki Darusman, will preside over an international debate on North Korean defectors in Geneva on Monday with officials from North and South Korea and China attending. This is the first time the three countries will be discussing the issue at an international forum.
According to a government source, Darusman will report on his investigation of the human rights situation in North Korea at the forum attended by 47 representatives of UN Human Rights Council member nations. The government plans to point out the problems with the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees from China and urge the international community to prevent it.
North Korea and China are expected to press their claim that the defectors are in fact economic migrants who have temporarily crossed the border illegally and are no refugees.
The UNHRC plans to adopt a resolution on human rights in North Korea on April 22 or 23 calling for a halt of torture and other abuses of repatriated defectors.