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PM says he raised S. Korea's concern over China's repatriation of N.K. defectors in meeting with XiBy Yonhap
Published : Oct. 18, 2023 - 19:46
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Wednesday that he conveyed Seoul's concerns regarding China's forced repatriation of North Korean defectors to their repressive home country during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
The discussion took place during Han's meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the Asian Games' opening ceremony in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 23.
"We consider this to be important and concerning, so I brought up the issue (of repatriation of North Korean defectors)," Han said in a meeting with reporters, without providing further details on the conversation.
Concerns have grown that North Korean defectors could undergo human rights abuses and face severe punishment if they are sent back to North Korea, following the reopening of its border in August after more than three years of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to local human rights groups, China forcibly repatriated around 600 North Korean defectors detained in provinces of Jilin and Liaoning last Monday via border cities shortly after the Asian Games. (Yonhap)
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