In an interview with the Washington-based news channel, Rev. Cheon Ki-won of Durihana Mission said, "A second group of North Korean defectors will soon be entering the United States following the first six in May."
Photo caption: Tim Peters greets Cheon Ki-won at airport, after Cheon's release from a Chinese prison. [Also pictured in this file photo, Cheon's daughter, Hanah.]
"The number of (N.K. defectors) will be around 25 to 30," Cheon said. He said he was not sure whether they would be arriving in the United States together or separately.
The North Korean defectors can by law seek asylum in the United States based under the 2004 U.S. law promoting and assisting human rights in North Korea.
Explaining how Ellen Sauerbrey, the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, is currently in Southeast Asia, Cheon said he hoped to see an early solution to the latest group of North Koreans.
Speaking in an interview with RFA last week, U.S. Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea Jay Lefkowitz said the United States is a "safe haven for refugees fleeing the despotism of North Korea."
"We are looking to help facilitate the passage of North Korean refugees into freedom. And to the extent that North Korean refugees would like to come to the United States, that is something that we want to make available," he was quoted as saying.
[The Korean Herald]