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China Lets North Korean Defectors Leave

Posted December. 22, 2005 03:02,   


On December 21, the Tokyo Shimbun reported that the Chinese government has allowed the 16 North Korean defectors staying at the Japanese embassy in China after making their way into a Japanese school in Beijing earlier this year to leave for a third country.

The Tokyo Shimbun reported that eight of the defectors left for Korea via Manila on December 20 when they were allowed to leave China, and that the rest will leave on December 22.

In the past, North Korean defectors who entered a diplomatic facility or a foreign school in China were authorized to depart from China within several months, but Chinese authorities have recently delayed granting defectors permission to leave in order to deter North Korean defectors from entering China.

Some say that China’s delayed departure authorization that had been expected at the end of last October has something to do with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com