13 N.Koreans Face Repatriation from China

      November 19, 2013 12:46

      Thirteen North Korean defectors were arrested in Kunming, China on Friday and are facing deportation to the North.

      The group, which includes a 13-year-old, has reportedly already been moved to the northeastern province of Liaoning near the North Korean border.

      An organization that helped the defectors on Monday said they were initially 15 and were on their way to a third country when they were arrested on Friday morning. Two of them managed to escape and have now made it to a neighboring country, it added.

      Defectors generally move in small groups for fear of arrest, and it is unusual for so many North Koreans to move together. They apparently got to know each other during their defection and stayed together to save time and money amid tightened controls during a Communist Party congress on Nov. 9-12.

      Righter after their arrest, the organization asked the Foreign Ministry here for help. The ministry gave no details but pledged to make "every effort" so the defectors will not to be sent back to the North against their will.

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