US Lawmakers File Resolution Over NK Defectors

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Two American lawmakers have jointly filed a resolution with the U.S. House of Representatives, demanding China abandon its policy of repatriating North Korean defectors.

They also urged Beijing to recognize defectors as refugees with a well-founded threat of persecution back in the North and allow them to receive unlimited help from the U.N. High Commissioners for Refugees.

Rep. Chris Smith, chairman of the House’s subcommittee on Africa, global health and human rights, and Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, filed the resolution, according to U.S.-based broadcaster Radio Free Asia.

The House will convene a meeting soon to determine the ratification of the resolution. It is the latest in a series of resolutions of this kind filed with the U.S. Capitol in an effort to change China’s policy on North Korean defectors.

The new resolution comes in response to protests against the repatriation of some 30 defectors that started in Seoul in February and spread to other countries, including the United States. The original script of the resolution was not immediately available.

Beijing, the sole ally to the poverty-stricken North, has sent North Korean defectors caught on Chinese soil back home, despite increasing international condemnation.