China Halts Repatriation of N.Korean Defectors
The Chinese government has halted the repatriation of North Korean defectors, apparently in response to South Korean requests.
The Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday cited an official from China's Liaoning Province as saying China, which had been repatriating up to 30 North Korean defectors a day since the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in December, recently stopped doing so.
|This is just for the rubes in the West. "Look, China is getting tough!" the rubes will say, and then they'll demand that we feed North Korea 'as a good will gesture'.|
"North Korea failed to inform China of specific plans to launch its missile last Friday," another Chinese official told the Japanese daily, which added that Beijing’s anger at being kept in the dark played a role in the decision to stop the repatriations.
China drew condemnation from international human rights groups by claiming North Korean defectors were not political refugees but merely economic migrants searching for work. But the Yomiuri said Beijing's stance appears to have changed since Chinese President Hu Jintao met his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul last month, when Hu pledged to "respect" the South's request to stop repatriating them.
Posted by: Steve White