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Monday, May 13, 2002

On Patrol on the Chinese-North Korean Border

More news on North Korean seeking asylum in China. First, Diplomacy's Funniest Embassy Videos shows the Chinese police tackling two asylum seekers inside the grounds of the Japanese embassy. Quite a diplomatic no-no, since the consulate has similar legal status to Japanese territory, which means the Chinese police were operating outside their jurisdiction.

In other action, two more asylum seekers arrived at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.

The Washington Post fulminates about this in a Sunday editorial, so the pot is beginning to heat up. According to WaPO,

"China is a signatory to a 50-year-old international convention on the protection of refugees, and is obliged by it not to send refugees who seek asylum back to areas where they could face persecution. "

Additional spice (but no MSG) is added to the problem because the refugee treaty confilicts with the China-North Korea treaty regarding border security.

Where is this headed? I don't see a lot of videotape coming out of Tibet, and the South Koreans seem disinclined to embarass the North Korean leadership, so these stories may fade from view. But I am still tabbing this breakdown of control on the North Korean border as the emerging story of 2003.
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