Wednesday, February 01, 2006

North Korean Refugees in France

Activists believe North Korean asylum-seekers may be hiding in France.

“We know there are North Koreans in France,” Robert Pepin, Paris-based co-founder of the French Committee To Help the Population in North Korea, said in an interview. “But also we know that they don’t know their rights and they are afraid. It’s very difficult to figure out where they are.”

“Most probably they were kidnapped by Chinese people and exported to Europe,” said Pepin, who launched his organization with Pierre Rigoulot, co-author of Kang Chol-Hwan’s 2001 North Korean gulag memoir Aquariums of Pyongyang.

The group was currently helping a North Korean man prepare his application for political asylum in France, Pepin said.

“France I don’t think has ever accepted political refugees from North Korea”, he said, adding: “I don’t think there would be any problem if any North Korean refugees would ask for political asylum.”

[Radio Free Asia]

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