BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- China rejected Tuesday an accusation by U.N. investigators that Beijing is aiding crimes against humanity by forcefully repatriating North Korean defectors, while making it clear that it would oppose any move to refer the North to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"We totally cannot accept this accusation," China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, a day after U.N. investigators condemned North Korea for widespread human rights abuses under the leadership of Kim Jong-un. China, the North's key ally, has considered tens of thousands of North Koreans hiding in the border areas as illegal migrants, not asylum-seekers, and routinely sends them back to North Korea, where they face harsh penalties, even death.
Hua reiterated China's long-criticized stance on North Korean defectors in China, saying "We do not refer those people as refugees, but illegal border-crossers." Asked how many North Korean defectors are hiding in China, Hua declined to answer, but said China is dealing with them "in accordance with international and domestic laws and the humanitarian principles."
Hua also said China would block any attempt to refer the case to the ICC. "Referring the issue to the ICC will not help improve a country's human rights conditions," Hua said.
SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- The number of people arrested on charges of violating the country's anti-communist law jumped nearly 40 percent on-year in 2013 due to an all-out clampdown, police said Wednesday. According to the National Police Agency (NPA), the number of people arrested for allegedly violating the politically controversial National Security Law came to 22 in 2013, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier.
Enacted in 1948 to fight communism, the law bans any "anti-state" activities that attempt to praise, encourage or propagandize North Korean political ideals.
"(The increase) is attributed to an intensive crackdown on security law breaches such as the arrests of a businessman for handing over classified information to North Korea and members of a pro-Pyongyang activist group," said an NPA officer.
In December 2013, a 55-year-old man, only identified by his surname Kang, was detained on charges of transferring state-of-the-art South Korean military technology to Pyongyang's spy agency.Also, the NPA arrested six members of the South Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea's Reunification for allegedly carrying out propaganda activities to praise the communist regime.
BEIJING/SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) -- China has told North Korea that it will "never allow war or chaos" on the Korean Peninsula, in a clear warning against the North's unpredictable leadership and pursuit of nuclear weapons, while Pyongyang reiterated that denuclearization of the peninsula was a "dying wish" of its late leader Kim Jong-il.
China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, who has been on a four-day visit to North Korea since Monday, and the North's top diplomats, including Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun and top nuclear envoy Ri Yong-ho, exchanged such remarks during meetings in Pyongyang, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement released late Wednesday.