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Friday, October 15, 2004

China: Refugees storm Beijing consulate

From BBC News:

About 20 people claiming to be North Korean asylum seekers are reported to have entered the South Korean consulate in Beijing.
China treats North Koreans as illegal immigrants and deports them home. But increasing numbers have entered foreign embassies in recent years, hoping for a passage to South Korea.
As Pyongyang's closest traditional ally, Beijing is loath to take any steps which might destabilise its neighbour or lead to waves of asylum seekers pouring over the border.

So China deports any North Koreans it catches back to their homeland.

It has also thrown heavy security around embassies to try to deter such asylum attempts.

But despite the risks, many North Koreans are still prepared to take the chance, and activists estimate that about 200,000 are currently hiding out in China.


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