North Koreans seek refugeat German Beijing embassy

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 June 2004 , BEIJING - Six North Korean refugees sought shelter Tuesday at Germany's embassy compound in Beijing, but one of them was expelled for not being able to prove his identity, news reports said Tuesday. South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that 34-year-old Yoon Ung Joo was forced to leave the embassy grounds a few hours after successfully dodging security to arrive inside the compound along with the five other asylum-seekers. The man was told to leave the embassy by a German consular worker

1 June 2004

BEIJING - Six North Korean refugees sought shelter Tuesday at Germany's embassy compound in Beijing, but one of them was expelled for not being able to prove his identity, news reports said Tuesday.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that 34-year-old Yoon Ung Joo was forced to leave the embassy grounds a few hours after successfully dodging security to arrive inside the compound along with the five other asylum-seekers.

The man was told to leave the embassy by a German consular worker after his North Korean identity could not be positively confirmed. He was able to escape to a safe area without being caught by Chinese police, Yonhap said.

It was the second time Yoon had tried to gain asylum in South Korea via the German embassy. During his last attempt in February, he was not recognized by South Korean officials as a legitimate refugee.

The group of North Koreans entered the embassy compound early Tuesday morning by climbing over a 3-metre-high wall topped by metal spikes. The remaining five were staying in an apartment building used by embassy staff.

Several hundred other North Koreans have resorted to similar measures at various diplomatic missions in China to secure a trip to South Korea.

Tens of thousands of North Koreans live in China after fleeing hunger and persecution in the reclusive communist state. However, the Chinese government, a friend of North Korea, does not recognize them as political refugees and, in case of their capture, sends them back to North Korea where they face detention and torture.

The number of northern defectors to South Korea has steadily risen in recent years and reached 1,281 in 2003. More than 4,000 have successfully reached South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

 

DPA

Subject: German news

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