September 19, 2021

North Korea seems to deny claim of 50 escapees forcibly repatriated from China

China regularly sent back DPRK defectors before COVID-19, but unclear if still possible amid strict pandemic lockdowns

North Korea’s foreign ministry on Monday appeared to reject claims by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and others that China forcibly repatriated North Korean escapees, accusing the international nonprofit of being “anti-China” and spreading a “rumor.”

HRW cited Radio Free Asia reporting in a July 22 statement that criticized China for allegedly sending back around 50 North Korean detainees on a bus between Dandong to Sinuiju on July 14.