North Korean Refugees in China and Human Rights Issues: International Response and U.S. Policy Options [September 26, 2007]   [open pdf - 2MB]

"This report examines both the situation of North Korean refugees in China and human rights issues because they are frequently raised simultaneously, particularly in a congressional context. Although the issues surrounding those North Koreans seeking to leave their country and the situation for those who remain inside its borders pose different questions and may call for separate responses, both also focus on the regime in Pyongyang. Critics of the North Korean government have raised both issues together to put pressure on the regime, particularly when nuclear weapons program negotiations stalled, Some advocates decry the practice of linking refugee and human rights issues, claiming that former calls for a quieter, cooperative approach, while the latter requires a more outspoken response to the North Korean government's practices. Although some policy experts insist the United States has a moral imperative to stand up for he oppressed, others say that this creates obstacles in the nuclear disarmament negotiations. In 2007, the Bush administration entered into bilateral talks with North Korea and linked the prospect of diplomatic relations and Pyongyang's re-entry into the international community with only the nuclear issue, leaving out human rights and refugee concerns."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34189
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