China to repatriate 20 North Korean defectors, denying Seoul’s request to release them into South Korean custody

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China will repatriate 20 North Korean defectors arrested this September in Shenyang, China. Once returned to North Korea, the escapees face imprisonment in a prison camp, torture and/or execution. It is South Korea’s constitutional duty to protect all defectors to the best of their ability, and they have asked Beijing repeatedly to reconsider releasing the group. Chinese diplomats are concerned about a spiraling effect if they comply with Seoul’s request. China risks diplomatic relations with its North Korean ally if they release the group to South Korea, claiming ”it would undermine its attempts to prevent a flood of defectors.”

Full article at The Washington Post

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