[Yonhap News] Unification minister calls on Beijing not to repatriate N. Korean defectors staying in China

12 Oct 2023

On August 16, Yonhap News covered South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho's congratulatory remarks made at the joint seminar by NKDB and ROK National Assembly member Choe Jaehyeong on the forced repatriation of North Korean escapees detained in China.

The article referenced figures from NKDB's Unified Human Rights Database, which has accumulated nearly 86,000 cases of North Korean human rights violations and over 55,000 individuals related to the aforementioned cases as of August 2023.

South Korea's unification minister on Wednesday asked for China's cooperation in not repatriating North Koreans who have been arrested in China after fleeing the North, stressing that such people should be recognized as "refugees."

Minister Kim Yung-ho made the remarks during a seminar in Seoul amid concerns that China could return a huge number of North Korean defectors to their home country against their will if the secretive regime opens up its border with China after years of its self-imposed COVID-19 restrictions.


A total of 8,148 repatriation cases of North Korean defectors have been reported and nearly 98 percent of such incidents were China's repatriation to the North, according to the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights.

You can read the full article on Yonhap News Agency website by clicking HERE.