N. Korean defectors to go to U.S. via Thailand : activist
ICC Note: The U.S. is poised to provide asylum to about 30 defectors from North Korea .
By Sohn Suk-joo
7/8/07 North Korea (Yonhap) — About 10 North Korean defectors held in immigration detention centers in Southeast Asian countries will be admitted to the United States and 20 more others will soon follow suit, a South Korean activist said Friday.
“The U.S. review process for some 10 North Korean defectors held in Thailand and other countries has been completed, and they are undergoing the final process such as fingerprinting,” said the Rev. Cheon Gi-won, pastor of the Durihana Mission, which helps North Korean defectors to relocate to safety. “As early as late this month, or as late as early next month, they will be able to enter the U.S. “
An increasing number of North Koreans are fleeing their impoverished country and crossing into Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries via China , mostly on their way to South Korea .
In accordance with its North Korea human rights law, the U.S. has allowed about 30 North Korean defectors to settle on its soil on a total of six occasions since May last year.
“If the U.S. is willing to accept more North Koreans, about 30 defectors will be able to take refuge in the U.S. by the end of August as another 20 are taking the process of going to the U.S. ,” Cheon said