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UN Resolution for North Korean Refugees Sought

Posted June. 20, 2002 23:03,   


There are movements to pressure China by creating an international issue out of the incident where the Chinese police barged into the Korean consulate office in China to detain North Korean refugee.

An expert on foreign affairs in Seoul said on June 20, “The UN Subcommittee on Human Rights is pursuing to adopt a resolution on refugee protection by the Korean civilian experts and 26 members of the subcommittee from each country, and the resolution will be directed at North Korean refugees.” The subcommittee will be held in Geneva for two weeks beginning in July 29

He said that “The resolution for refugee protection will guarantee ‘access’ that allow the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to interview North Korean refugees, and other major issues will include preventing forced repatriation to North Korea.

It has been said that former Korean ambassador to the UN Park Soo-kil and other Korean delegates are active in adopting the resolution.

Meanwhile, the Korean government said that it would consider pressuring China through international organizations such as the UN Human Right Commission after responses by the Chinese government such as an official apology. The Korean government is considering voting in favor of a UN resolution on human rights issues within China, which it had been refrain from doing in consideration of its relations with China.

The UN Treaty on Refugees prevents forced repatriation of refugees with a clause, “Treaty nations must not expel or repatriate refugees to a region where their lives or freedom could be threatened.”

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com