February 29, 2012 09:27
EU and U.S. representatives to the UN Human Rights Council are expected to support South Korea's position on North Korean defectors who were arrested in China and face repatriation. On Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Bong-hyun in a keynote speech at the council in Geneva implicitly urged China to honor its obligations under international human rights charters not to send defectors back if they face abuses.
A senior diplomatic source in Seoul said Tuesday, "South Korea asked the EU and Washington for cooperation in dealing with China's repatriation of North Korean defectors. U.S. and EU representatives will urge China in UN meetings to recognize defectors as refugees and not to send them back."
The U.S. and the EU will reportedly call on the UNHRC to include stronger wording about the repatriation of defectors in a resolution on North Korean human rights.
U.S. Congress decided to hold a public hearing on North Korean defectors amid widespread criticism in the U.S. of the Chinese government. The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Relations' human rights subcommittee will hold an urgent public hearing on the issue on Thursday, Voice of America reported.
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