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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 3/14/2002 5:13:26 AM EST
[url=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020314/ap_on_re_as/china_nkorea]North Koreans Seek Asylum in Beijing[/url] Thu Mar 14, 4:40 AM ET By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Writer Rushing past Chinese guards and into a diplomatic conundrum, a group of North Koreans streamed into the Spanish Embassy and demanded asylum Thursday, insisting they would be persecuted, even killed if they were sent back to their homeland — and threatening suicide if anyone tried. Supporters said the action was the beginning of a continuing campaign. The two dozen men, women and children — some of whom thrust fists into the air in jubilation when they reached the embassy building — issued a statement saying they wanted to be sent to South Korea. One struggled briefly with a lone Chinese embassy guard who tried in vain to block the entrance. "We are now at the point of such desperation and live in such fear of persecution within North Korea (news - web sites) that we have come to the decision to risk our lives for freedom rather than passively await our doom," the group's statement said. "The only power we have left is to appeal to you on our knees and with tears," it said. For China, North Korea's only major ally, the asylum bid presents a dilemma. Beijing has been criticized by human rights and aid groups for refusing to grant refugee status to North Koreans fleeing repression and famine in the hard-line communist state. Beijing is bound by treaty with Pyongyang to repatriate North Korean asylum seekers. Many have been sent back. Others have been able to live in hiding along China's northeastern border with North Korea, one of three nations that President Bush (news - web sites) in January branded part of an "axis of evil." China's Foreign Ministry said it was still evaluating the situation Thursday afternoon but that the asylum seekers would be dealt with according to law — both international and Chinese. "I think their entry into the Spanish Embassy can only be regarded as an illegal entry," spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said. A man who picked up the telephone at the Spanish Embassy said no one was available for comment. In Madrid, a Spanish Foreign Ministry official said diplomats were seeking a quick solution, but it was not clear how Spain would proceed. In Seoul, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group should be dealt with "according to humanitarian principles." He said a message had been delivered to China and Spain that the issue should not be resolved against the will of the asylum seekers. Arms locked, two asylum seekers approached the gate first, keeping the guard occupied while others streamed into the compound. The men then shook off the guard and rushed in themselves.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:14:03 AM EST
Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor who once lived in North Korea and was among those from Europe and elsewhere who organized the asylum bid, said 25 North Koreans were inside the embassy. He promised more such actions in the future, with a growing number of North Koreans each time, and likened it to the flood of Eastern Europeans who sought asylum in Western embassies before the Iron Curtain collapsed. "They can't stop 25 people and they will not stop for sure 150 people," Vollertsen said. Most of the North Koreans were carrying rat poison and all "told me they would be executed if they are sent back," Vollertsen said. Their statement also said they would commit suicide if repatriated. They chose the Spanish Embassy because it was less heavily guarded than the German Embassy, their original target, Vollertsen said. Minutes after the North Koreans rushed in, dozens of armed Chinese guards converged on the compound, which under diplomatic law is Spanish territory they cannot enter without permission. A group of Spanish diplomats emerged, talked to some of the guards, then went back inside. Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, a Tokyo-based organization that assisted the group, said the group included members of six families and three individuals. It listed names, ages and hometowns but said many were pseudonyms to protect "loved ones who remain in North Korea." The asylum seekers ranged in age from 10 to 52, according to the news release. Some, including a farmer, a former policeman and two orphaned 16-year-old girls, also issued individual statements translated into English. One man, who said he was giving his correct full name, Choi Byong-sop, wrote that he was 52 and a former coal miner and one-time member of the North Korean Workers Party, the ruling party. He said he fled to China in 1997 with his wife and three children but was caught and returned to North Korea, where guards beat and tortured him. As a former party member, he wrote, "I would be very strictly persecuted and most likely executed if I am caught again. However, I am willing to risk my life for freedom in South Korea." He added: "We want to live a decent life in freedom in South Korea. My first son wants to become a Christian missionary. My daughter wants to be trained to be a pianist. My last son wants to be a soccer player in South Korea." For many, this was at least the second attempt to use China to gain freedom, the group statement said. It said some had been caught by Chinese security officials before and returned to North Korea for "months of detention ... that can only be described as atrocious." Last June, a family of seven North Korean asylum seekers sought refuge in a Beijing U.N. office. After four days, they were allowed to leave for South Korea via a circuitous route that took them through Singapore and the Philippines.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:15:39 AM EST
[img]http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20020314/capt.1016081791.china_north_korea_bej107.jpg[/img] A Chinese military police guard tries to stop the first of 20 North Korean asylum-seekers as they rush the gate of the Spanish Embassy in Beijing Thursday March 14, 2002. The group, which succeeded in getting past the guard, sought asylum at the embassy, threatening suicide if they are sent back to North Korea. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) [img]http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20020314/capt.1016076249.china_north_korea_bej101.jpg[/img] A group of 20 North Korean asylum-seekers rush past a Chinese military police guard as he tries to stop one of them at the Spanish Embassy in Beijing, Thursday, March 14, 2002. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 5:16:42 AM EST
URL for photo #1: http://[url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/020314/168/195bq.html[/url] URL for photo #2: http://[url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/020314/168/19522.html[/url]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 6:15:34 AM EST
God bless them.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:37:11 AM EST
How can we have such good relations with China when China is an ally of an "axis of evil". How full of shit can our govt. be?
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 8:42:58 AM EST
"Freedom is the natural yearning of the human spirit"- The MahaRushi
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:29:42 AM EST
Why is a Chinese guard, guarding the Spanish embassy?? Whose responsibility is it anyways???
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:45:38 AM EST
I F**kin hate the DPRK Government. Let me run that by you one more time: [b]I F**KIN HATE THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA GOVERNMENT![/b] My grandfather fought against the COMMUNIST NORTH KOREANS and RED CHINESE in the Korean [b]WAR[/b], and I served 14 months of my young and fruitful life doing the same thing he did nearly 50 years ago-defending the good people of the ROK from their nasty northern neighbors. I hope that the people of North Korea rise up against the oppressive regieme and destroy it so that they may live in freedom and enjoy the liberty that GOD gave to all men! Communism Sucks! [/rant]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:54:30 AM EST
Hungry people.
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:57:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2002 11:58:44 AM EST by shooter69]
In Seoul, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group should be dealt with "according to humanitarian principles."
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Well, they want to go to South Korea, so I would think that the Spanish will oblige them...
Originally Posted By GeneStoner: Why is a Chinese guard, guarding the Spanish embassy?? Whose responsibility is it anyways???
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Donny, the PRC, like other dictatorships wants to keep track of everything [}:D]
Link Posted: 3/14/2002 11:45:37 PM EST
http://[url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/020314/168/19525.html[/url] [img]http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20020314/capt.1016076319.china_north_korea_bej102.jpg[/img] A group of North Korean asylum-seekers celebrate on the steps of the Spanish embassy in Beijing after rushing past Chinese military police guard outside Thursday March 14, 2002. At least 20 asylum seekers successfully made it onto embassy grounds. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
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