Nuclear Deal Could Increase Risk for North Korean Defectors
China’s continued forced deportation of North Korean defectors, who face imprisonment or even death upon return to the repressive state, has received muted international criticism, as diplomatic efforts have intensified to negotiate a denuclearization deal with Pyongyang. In the first three months of 2018, China apprehended at least 41 undocumented North Korean migrants, who crossed the Sino-Korean border trying to escape extreme poverty or political persecution under the authoritarian Kim Jong Un government, and more than 100 others between July 2016 and December 2017, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. Continued crackdown China classifies these North Korean escapees, or defectors as they are often called, as illegal economic migrants, and forcibly returns them to North Korea, despite knowing they may be tortured under interrogation, sent to live in harsh conditions in forced labor camps or even sentenced to death. The Chinese crackdown on these defectors, which has intensified in recent years, could get worse as relations improve between Beijing and Pyongyang, following Kim’s recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “If relations between China and North Korea are good, North Korean authorities will be able to put pressure on the issue of North Korean defectors,” said Ahn Chan-il, a North Korean defector and analyst with the World Institute of North Korean studies. Kim’s expressed commitment to engage in denuclearization talks with South Korea and the U.S. has helped ease tensions in the China/North Korea alliance that had grown tense over Pyongyang’s defiant nuclear and ballistic missile tests. To encourage his ally’s increased cooperation on nuclear negotiations, Xi is likely to demonstrate greater solidarity on border security enforcement, with little regard for humanitarian concerns. “He’s using these defectors to say to Pyongyang that we are still your friend, we are committed to working with you, and we don’t want... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Nuclear Deal Could Increase Risk for North Korean Defectors, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 10 April, 2018
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