N. Korea still rejecting Chinese proposals to repatriate defectors
About 20 female North Korean defectors were caught and detained early this month at a lockup for illegal border crossers run jointly by the Chinese public security bureau and Chinese border patrol in Dandong, Liaoning Province. Public security bureau officials were going to repatriate them to the North, but the North Korean side has long refused to accept them.
Another 200 defectors were going to be sent back to the North early this month from Jilin Province, but the North refused to accept them. They are likely being held in a border detention center run by public security bureau authorities and the border patrol in Tumen's Chinese border town.
North Korea is refusing to take the defectors back because the country has been busy with preparing events to celebrate Party Foundation Day and because Pyongyang has sealed the border as part of its quarantine efforts against COVID-19.
North Korea has blocked most trade and human traffic across the border since January of this year out of fears that those infected with COVID-19 could destroy the country’s fragile public health infrastructure. ......