CHINA/KOREA: North Korean defector dragged out of consulate by Chinese police

Dear Friends,

The following is a forwarded appeal sent by the Citizens¡¯ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR) based in South Korea regarding the incident in which the Chinese police entered the South Korean consulate in Beijing and seized one of two North Korean asylum-seekers who had entered the compound.

Please send your appeal to the Chinese authorities and ask them not to repatriate the man who was dragged out of the South Korean consulate by the Chinese security guards.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission

The following is a letter of appeal written by NKHR and sent to Tang Jiaxuan, minister of foreign affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and to the Chinese ambassador to South Korea, Li Bin, in protest for the incident in which a North Korean defector was dragged out of the South Korean consulate in Beijing on June 13, 2002, after scuffles between the Chinese police and South Korean diplomats. We urge you to write a similar letter of appeal to ask for the Chinese authorities not to repatriate this man.

You can fax your letters to Ambassador Li Bin at the Chinese embassy in Seoul at (82) 2/738-1077 and e-mail Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan at <>. We also encourage you to write letters of appeal to voice your concern for the welfare of all of the defectors.

Your Excellency,

Recent breaking news has informed us of the arrest by the Chinese police of a North Korean asylum-seeker, who was dragged out of the South Korean consulate in Beijing on June 13, 2002. To our shock, the Chinese police abused their power by not only intruding into a foreign diplomatic office without permission but also by violently attacking the South Korean diplomats trying to protect the North Korean defector. Such an intolerable way of handling the situation involving North Korean asylum-seekers, which was not the first time, has created great concern among the international community for the fate of the man brutally taken away by the Chinese police as well as for the clear sign of the more hardline stance of your government toward North Korean asylum-seekers that this tragic event indicates.

Moreover, this incident has taken place within one month of North Korean asylum-seekers being dragged out of the Japanese consulate in Shenyang, which caused diplomatic tension for a while with Japan. Thanks to the decisive action taken by the Chinese government, they were reunited with their family and safely arrived in South Korea via a third country. Following this incident, more asylum-seeking attempts at the South Korean consulate in Beijing were made by a total of 18 North Korean defectors, including the 18-year-old son of the man now in the custody of the Chinese police. They deserve the same humanitarian treatment as others who have been given safe passage out of China previously. At any rate, they should not be discriminated against and sent back to North Korea for the sake of shortsighted political concerns.

We fully understand that this issue of dealing with asylum-seekers is very sensitive and needs to be carefully approached with sufficient diplomatic considerations. However, we still strongly urge the Chinese government to continue to act in a humanitarian manner and respect the human dignity and human rights of the defectors by fully abiding by the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol to which China is a signatory. We implore the Chinese authorities to deal with this case by fully upholding and respecting human rights and acknowledging the opinion of the international human rights community by allowing the 19 North Korean defectors, both in the custody of the Chinese police and inside the South Korean consulate, safe passage in order for them to finally put an end to their exhaustive and precarious journey for life and freedom.


Citizens¡¯ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-08-2002
Countries : China,
Issues : Refugees, IDPs & Asylum seekers,