Friday, August 13, 2010

North Korean defectors under protection of Japanese Consulate stuck in China

Several North Korean defectors under the protection of the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang, China, are unable to leave the country because the Chinese government has not issued them exit permits, according to Japanese organizations supporting North Korean defectors.
According to Hiroshi Kato, who heads the Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, at least five people, including the spouse of a Japanese national who already is in Japan, and their son, have been staying in the consulate building--some of them for as long as two years.
Since it is unlikely the Chinese will grant them exit permits, the Japanese Consulate General has been unable to accept further defectors, Kato said.
According to those familiar with the matter, Shenyang, a northeastern Chinese city of about 7 million people, is home to many Chinese of Korean ancestry and has become a base for North Korean defectors.
[Yomiuri Shimbun]

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