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Date : November 20, 2013
North Koreans Caught in China Again
The Chinese authorities caught thirteen North Korean nationals in Kunming province on Friday. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the North Korean citizens were boarding a bus bound for an unidentified Southeast Asian country, when the Chinese police arrested them.

The spokesperson for Korea Unification Ministry told press that day that they were trying to confirm the reports about the detention of the North Koreans.

“Some of the detainees have families in South Korea,” Kim Ui Do, spokesperson for the Unification Ministry said Friday in Seoul, suggesting the reason of why the North Koreans would want to flee China for an identified Southeast Asian country in the first place, Yonhap News reported.

The usual practice for such situations is a forced deportation to North Korea. The Chinese authorities believe that the North Koreans that are caught are not defectors, but “illegal cross borders” or “illegal work immigrants” according to Qin Gang, spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry, according to the reports.

After the repatriation back to North Korea the defectors usually face sentences in labor camps or even execution.
The South Korean government and a number of NGOs that deal with North Korean defectors pleaded to the Chinese authorities to stop detention and deportations.

Earlier this year the Laos authorities caught and forcibly sent nine North Korean orphans back home despite a plea by the South Korean government and international community not to do so.

Over 25, 000 North Koreans have found home and freedom in South Korea after they fled their country.

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