North Korean family spends second day at UNHCR office

News Stories, 27 June 2001

BEIJING, 27 June 2001 A family of seven North Koreans including three women sought asylum at the UNHCR office in Beijing Tuesday.

The group included a 17-year-old artist whose drawings depicting life in North Korea could subject the family to punishment if they were returned to that country.

"We believe these people deserve asylum and we are seeking assistance to find a solution for them with all concerned authorities," a UNHCR spokesperson said.

Large numbers of North Koreans reportedly have entered China, but UNHCR has had only limited access to them.

Seven North Koreans sought asylum in China last year, subsequently found themselves in Russia and were returned to North Korea where their fate is unknown.