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No Refugee Camp for North Korean Defectors in Mongolia

Posted September. 29, 2003 23:10,   


The plan to use the former Soviet Union`s military base in Mongolia as a temporary shelter for the North Korean defectors had failed due to requests by the North and opposition from South Korea, said New York Times on Sep. 28.

According to New York Times, the plan to use the empty barracks and apartment buildings in the former Soviet Union military base, which is located in Khorloogiin Choibalsan, 480km to the east of Mongolian capital city, Ulaanbaatar, was pursued by the mayor of Khorloogiin Choibalsan, Korean missionaries and aides to US congressmen.

However, when the plan was publicized, the North poured all its efforts to stop the installment of the camp by sending its foreign minister Baek Nam-soon as a special envoy to Mongolia last year, and renewing the mutual friendly cooperation treaty that was practically denounced 10 years ago.

The paper analyzed that the fact that China, which has recently deployed 150,000 soldiers along its borders with the North, expressed disfavor to the plan had some influence on the derailment of the plan.

Moreover, the paper reported that the South Korean government also opposes the plan, concerned about irritating the North. Thus, the paper is saying that with all concerned countries such as North Korea, China and South Korea opposing the plan, the Mongolian government decided to scrap the plan not to hinder its relations with them.

New York Times added that as the US needs Chinese cooperation to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, it couldn`t put pressure on China to allow construction of an asylum.