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Secret pact on refugees from North is alleged

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Jan 07,2003
North Korea and China signed a secret agreement in 1986 that serves as the legal basis for hunting down North Korean defectors in China and forcibly repatriating them, a Japanese human-rights group said yesterday. The Rescue the North Korean People! Urgent Action Network released what it said was a text. Under the protocol, signed at Dandong, China, on Aug. 12, 1986, by the North Korean Ministry of State Security and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, both sides agreed to cooperate against illegal border crossing. They also agreed on handling criminals, including "antirevolutionary elements," escaping across each other's borders. "In the event that a criminal is investigated and arrested the offender shall necessarily be handed over to the other side," the protocol said. North Koreans are forbidden to travel abroad; thus any North Korean found in China automatically is a criminal and subject to repatriation. Beijing has estimated that 10,000 North Koreans defected to China in 2000. Nongovernmental groups put the number at 300,000. The U.S. Committee for Refugees estimated that at least 6,000 North Koreans were forcibly returned to China in 2000.
by Ser Myo-ja
January 07, 2003




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