April 13, 2024

Why North Korean defectors are a minor issue for Beijing

Experts suggest issue not worth raising tensions with Pyongyang over

The West criticizes China’s handling of North Korea on many issues, but nowhere do these critiques take such a moralistic dimension as in the repatriation of North Korean refugees.

Official Chinese practice, of treating the “refugees” not as such, but as “economic migrants” and sending them back – potentially to face brutal repercussions – even received a mention in the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the North last year.

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