Lawmaker: China Could Repatriate North Korean Refugees

A warning from U.S. lawmakers Tuesday. They say Beijing could be gearing up to forcibly repatriate refugees who fled North Korea.

GOP Congressman Chris Smith chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He told a hearing there’s, quote, “good reason to believe” the directive is imminent as North Korea reopens its border post-pandemic.

He cited reports that approximately 2,000 and “perhaps many more” North Korean refugees faced repatriation something he said “would subject them to severe human rights violations upon their return.”

Smith said he shared his concern with the United Nations in April, urging the organization to use its influence with Beijing to stop it.

Both China’s Washington embassy and North Korea’s UN mission did not immediately respond to press requests for comment.

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