Beijing will soon allow more than 40 North Korean refugees sheltering at foreign missions in China to leave for South Korea and the United States, a report said Sunday.
China usually forcibly repatriates North Korean refugees, whom it regards as economic migrants, even though they often face harsh punishment on their return home.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, quoting unnamed sources in Beijing, said the Chinese government had decided to allow them to leave to prevent the issue overshadowing the 2008 Beijing Olympics. [Full Text]
Read also North Korean refugees reach U.S. via China: sources by Yonhap, and China frees North Korea’s ‘Pimpernel’ by Michael Sheridan.