China: North Korea

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his Department's policies of the reported forced repatriation of people from China back to North Korea; whether he has made an assessment of the potential risks to these people; whether he has made representations to his counterpart in China on this topic; and whether his Department has made an assessment of the compatibility of these reported forced repatriations with international law.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are aware of reports that China is forcibly repatriating refugees to North Korea. The UK actively promotes the implementation of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom. We emphasise directly to the Chinese authorities that they should not be detaining and forcefully repatriating North Korean refugees. At the 17 August UN Security Council meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK, the UK called on all states to abide by the principle of non-refoulement.

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