If you’ve been following media reports about North Korea, then chances are you’ve also heard stories of North Koreans slipping over the borders to China, or trying to scale the walls of embassies in Beijing in order to get asylum. For most refugees, this means ending up South Korea, but don’t think that just by making out of the “hermit kingdom” into China means getting to the promised land — China is quite willing to send them back, as happened recently in Yantai, when seven North Koreans entered an international school. The refugees included five women and two men. Four of them were from one family. There’s a Chinese article about it (containing mostly the same info as the English link above) here.
For those of you unfamiliar with the issue, getting deported back to North Korea is literally, going back to jail, do pass GO, do not collect $200, and pray for your friggin’ life, because such transgressions are not taken lightly by Kim “I’m so lonely” Jong-Il. To find out more about the plight of North Korean refugees in China, you could try an introduction which includes a photo essay here, or read what Peking Duck recently had to say about this issue. Last but not least, there are plenty of NGO sites, such as this one, that are chockload of interesting information.
Photo by Chien-Min Chung/Reuters courtesy of PBS Wideangle