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The Chinese Government’s Policy Toward North Korean Defectors

Title: The Chinese Government’s Policy Toward North Korean DefectorsFALL2013 COVER OUT IMAGE
Author: Eunbee Chung
Affiliation: Yonsei University
Issue: Changes & Transitions – Volume 5 Issue 2
Publisher: Yonsei University Press
Download as PDF


The Chinese government’s repatriation policy for North Korean defectors has been a topic of controversy. Due to deteriorating living conditions in North Korea, many flee North Korea to find food or work. Many of them go to China, and yet they are greeted by hostility. While humanitarian activists and organizations urge the government to issue refugee status, Beijing identifies them as illegal economic migrants and forcibly returns them to North Korea where severe punishments await. The current essay assumes that Beijing’s repatriation of North Koreans is a breach to international refugee law, and explores political, economic, and social reasons contributing to the decision.

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