Human rights groups in Seoul welcomed the United States' decision to accept three North Korean refugees as political exiles, while some North Korea experts worried about Washington's “political'' motives.
Three of the four refugees, who had stayed at the U.S. Consulate in China's northeastern city Shenyang since May, left for the United States last weekend, diplomatic sources said.
Washington reportedly declined to accept the fourth's application as he formerly worked for a prison camp in the North. He now hopes to come to South Korea, sources said.
It is the second time the United States has accepted North Koreans as refugees since the enactment of the North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004, and the first to airlift them directly from China.
Washington granted asylum to six North Koreans on May 6, but they received refugee status in a third country in Asia.
[Excerpt of article by Park Song-wu, Korea Times]