Posted April. 12, 2005 23:24,
Since the visit (April 2-April 5) of North Korea`s first vice foreign minister, Kang Sok Ju, China has repatriated 30 North Korean captives in a prison and stepped up its crackdown on North Koreans attempting to cross the border between China and North Korea.
Out of the 90 North Korean defectors in the Dabei prison of Changchun city, Jilin province, 30 were abruptly dragged out after finishing remission procedures, and it is almost certain that they were sent back to North Korea, according to a local source on April 11.
I heard this information when I visited a North Korean defector in prison. The rest are also fearful of when and who might be next, added the source. North Korean defectors here also include many supporters who were involved in missionary works and assisting defectors from the North.
In the meantime, the local police have initiated an intensive crackdown on North Korean defectors from April 6 to the end of this month, according to another source in Yanji city, Jilin province on April 12.
Sources in China shared the view that given the accelerated actions following the visit of Kang, it is highly likely that China will face worldwide criticism if it used the repatriation of North Koreans as a bargaining chip to lure the North to the negotiation table of the six-way talks.