North Korea workers returning to China, sources say

By Elizabeth Shim   |   April 5, 2018 at 10:59 AM
North Korean workers are returning to the Chinese city of Dandong following a summit between Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to sources at the border. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

April 5 (UPI) -- North Korea may have begun redeploying forced laborers to China following a summit between Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a move that could violate United Nations Security Council sanctions Resolution 2375.

Multiple sources at different locations along the China-North Korea border say they have seen new groups of North Koreans, many of them women, arrive at factories, Radio Free Asia reported.

One source in China's Jilin Province said hundreds of North Korean women were seen in the area.

"Earlier this month more than 400 North Korean women workers were newly dispatched to the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture," the source said. "It is a sign of the impact of Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit."

A source in the Chinese border city of Dandong in a separate province said there have been buses crossing the Yalu River following the recent summit.

"On March 30 several buses crossed the Yalu River Railway Bridge, entered the Dandong customs house, then dropped off young North Korean women workers," the source said.

RFA's source in Dandong said the workers numbered over 100, and that they were being issued certificates to stay in China from a period of six months to a year.

Conversations held between Kim and Xi have not been entirely disclosed, but during the summit the North Korean leader may have agreed to return to the six-party talks.

Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported Thursday multiple sources confirmed Kim wanted to return to multilateral negotiations.

The North Korean leader plans to bring up the matter in his upcoming summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, the report states.

The multilateral talks were held between 2003 and 2007, during which the United States, South Korea, Japan, North Korea, China and Russia met six times to discuss steps toward North Korea denuclearization.

The talks were discontinued after North Korea refused to give up nuclear weapons.

Engagement between China and North Korea is ongoing, and according to Yonhap, Kim Song Nam, the deputy chief of the international bureau of Pyongyang's Workers' Party is in Beijing this week.

He is expected to meet with senior Chinese officials, according to the report.

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