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...
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