La Cina ha recuperato qualche anno fa i corpi di 56 nord-coreani, che galleggiavano in un fiume vicino alla frontiera, dopo essere stati apparentemente uccisi da soldati nord-coreani che li accusavano di defezione.
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China retrieved a few years ago the corpses of 56 North Koreans floating in a border river after they were apparently shot dead by North Korean soldiers while trying to defect, a report said
“An official notice issued by police in the border town of Baishan in Jilin province describes how 53 corpses were discovered by local people on the morning of October 3, 2003, followed by three more at 5 a.m. the following day,” said the report, which appeared on the Web site “North Korea Economy Watch,” specializing in information on the North Korean economy.
Citing the official document issued by the Badaogou Police Station in Baishan, a town in Changbai Korean Autonomous County, which borders North Korea, the report said, “An examination found that the dead were all citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” DPRK is North Korea’s official name.
China, North Korea’s staunchest communist ally, sees North Korean defectors as economic migrants rather than refugees, and deports them under a secret agreement with North Korea so they could face persecution back home.
Reports said that hundreds of thousands of North Korean defectors are hiding in China.
Most North Korean defectors cross the border with China to seek shelter, mostly in South Korea, which has received nearly 20,000 North Korean defectors since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
The U.S. has taken in about 70 North Korean refugees since the North Korean Human Rights Act was enacted years ago to help promote democracy in North Korea.
The Chinese police document dated October 7, 2003, said that “Postmortems showed that the 56 bodies had all been shot. The evidence suggests that they had been shot by Korean armed border guards when attempting to cross illicitly into China.”
The dead consisted of 36 males and 20 females, including five boys and two girls, the report said, adding, “The bodies were cremated locally on October 6, and township officials are awaiting instructions from higher authority on what to do with the ashes and with possessions found on the bodies.”
U.S. and international human right organizations have urged the U.S. to persuade China to ensure that the return of any migrants pursuant to any bilateral agreement does not violate China’s obligations under various human rights conventions to which China is a signatory.
China has been under fire for its failure to allow access to North Korean refugees seeking asylum abroad by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
In an annual human rights report issued in February, the U.S. State Department expressed concerns about the human trafficking and repatriation of North Korean refugees.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton triggered controversy in February when she said that human rights violations should not serve as a hurdle to improvements in relations with China.
The remarks spawned concerns that the Barack Obama administration may follow his predecessor, George W. Bush, in circumventing the sensitive rights issue in order not to provoke China, which plays a key role in the six-party talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
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