South Korea: Prisoners

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with the government of South Korea the involvement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in prisoner exchanges between South and North Korea.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We are not aware of any prisoner exchanges between South and North Korea.

The few North Korean citizens who do enter South Korea directly are interviewed by the authorities to determine if they wish to defect or to return to North Korea. All North Korean citizens are entitled to South Korean citizenship and have no need to claim refugee status. Those who wish to return are normally repatriated under arrangements made between the North and South Korean Red Cross societies. There is, therefore, no involvement of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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