Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called on local authorities in Thai border provinces to take stricter measures against an influx of refugees from North Korea, the Bangkok Post reported. The embattled premier made the call while on the campaign trail to the northern province of Chiang Rai, which borders Laos, a popular route for refugees from North Korea fleeing via China.
The paper reported defection attempts from North Korea are on the rise, with 212 North Koreans arrested in Thailand since 2004. On March 19, the paper reported authorities in Chiang Rai were stepping up security measures to stop North Korean refugees crossing the Mekong River to enter Thailand illegally.
[The Chosun Ilbo]