China suspends repatriation of defectors: Yomiuri
Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, quoting two Chinese sources, reported that China’s policy of immediately sending North Korean border crossers back to the North has been put on hold.
The exact time the Chinese suspended the repatriation was not specified in the article, but another Chinese official quoted by the Yomiuri hinted that it was after the North announced in March a plan to launch a long-range rocket which failed last Friday.
The second official said the North did not inform China of specific plans for the missile launch and the suspension reflects Beijing’s discontent with Pyongyang’s lack of “necessary attention to its friend China.”
Seoul upped its pressure on China to release them and four North Koreans staying in the South Korean consulates in China were reportedly brought to the South recently. The fates of those arrested in China in February are undetermined, an official of Seoul’s foreign ministry said yesterday.
The Yomiuri article came out after China backed the United Nations Security Council to issue a unanimous presidential statement on Monday to condemn the North’s rocket launch, which the world sees as a cover to test long-range missiles.
By Moon Gwang-lip [email@example.com]