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7 NK Refugees Arrested
a Year Ago in Beijing

on August 26, 2002

The 7 refugees hold statement requesting asylum in China

Refugees turn to China's own Foreign Ministry

Seven North Korean defectors on Aug. 26, 2002 attepted to apply for asylum at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. They spread a banner on which was written "HELP US. Freedom for North Korea." The moment they unfurled the banner, however, the Chinese authorities placed them under arrest.

These seven individuals chose this approach to attract the attention of the international community. They were fully aware that their bold move could easily lead to their repatriation to North Korea, which means automatic imprisonment, and a strong liklihood of summary execution.

Their situation is typical of that faced by North Korean refugees.

Their statement read:

Dear sirs:
We ran away from North Korea to escape the beatings and killings. People have no freedom and are starving in North Korea. We are seeking freedom in South Korea We turn to you because the Chinese police are arresting us.
Please, please help us

The 7 North Korean refugees are:

Kim Jae-gon (male, 60)
Kim Jong-nam (male, 36)
Kim Mi-young (female, 37)
Jo Song-hye (female, 27)
An Chol-su (male, 40)
Ko Dae-chang (male, 56)
Kim Hong (female, 29)

The banner they spread in front of the Chinese Foreign Ministry