Representative Christopher Smith, Chairman and Senator Sherrod Brown, Cochairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China announce a hearing on
“China's Repatriation of North Korean Refugees”
In recent weeks, international human rights advocates and organizations have called on the Chinese government not to repatriate dozens of North Korean refugees currently detained in China. There is now growing concern that the refugees and their family members may face public execution if the refugees are forcibly returned to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). In January, Kim Jong-un, the "supreme leader" of North Korea, reportedly threatened to "exterminate three generations" of any family with a member caught defecting from North Korea during the 100-day mourning period for the late Kim Jong-il. Despite its obligations under international law, the Chinese government maintains an agreement with North Korea to repatriate North Korean refugees.
The Commission hearing will address the current predicament of North Korean refugees who have been detained by Chinese authorities in recent weeks. Witnesses will discuss the factors driving North Koreans to flee to China. Witnesses will also address the legality of China's forced repatriations of North Koreans and relevant humanitarian concerns.