Seven North Koreans who fled their country, including a nine-year-old girl, have reportedly been arrested by Chinese authorities and are facing deportation back to the North.
This is according to a statement released on Monday by a South Korea-based civic group called Justice for North Korea. The statement said that the nine-year-old, identified by her family name Choi, and her uncle identified by his surname Kang crossed the Sino-North Korean border earlier this month.
The group said the two were arrested alongside five other defectors in a hideout outside Shenyang in Liaoning Province.
The girl’s mother, who earlier defected to South Korea, informed the South Korean Consulate in Shenyang of the situation on Sunday evening, calling for the South Korean government’s intervention.
Expressing concerns over the possible repatriation of the North Korean nationals, the civic group also urged the South Korean Foreign Ministry to exert diplomatic efforts to secure their safety.