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Jilin Province sentences N. Korean defector to 10 years for human trafficking

Jilin Province authorities recently handed down a 10-year sentence to a North Korean defector for human trafficking, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Daily NK source in China said last Thursday that police in the city of Songyuan, working in cooperation with police in the city of Baishan, placed two Chinese men and one female North Korean defector under arrest for human trafficking in February.

The trio were put on trial in late April. The two Chinese men were given three years in prison, while the North Korean woman was given 10 years. All three have already begun serving time in prison. 

During their investigation, police in Songyuan seized a list of dozens of North Korean women who had been illegally trafficked into China. They also determined the identities of Chinese nationals who purchased North Korean women.

“The Chinese nationals who purchased North Korean women lived in many places and came from many backgrounds,” the source said. “Police in Songyuan sent out specific official requests to the regions in question to take criminal measures against those implicated in human trafficking per Chinese law.”

In its cooperation requests, police in Songyuan said a human trafficking ring was operating because people want to buy North Korean women. The police further said that people implicated in human trafficking must be fined, detained or given even harsher criminal punishments so that such crimes do not occur. They also called for thorough management of North Korean women who have had children with Chinese nationals after entering China illegally.

Fears of repatriation among defectors on the list

The source said that police in these other regions of China plan to take necessary legal measures against Chinese nationals who bought North Korean women. They have also begun ascertaining the exact identities of North Korean women living in China after illegally entering the country, based on the list.

“North Korean women who heard the news that the boss lady who sold them off feel uneasy that their identities will be exposed,” the source said. “The worry and fear about the possibility of repatriation to the North.”

Police in Songyuan say that the latest case is part of a mop-up operation against human trafficking along the border with North Korea. They also say the operation is vital in building trust with Pyongyang, according to the source. 

“Government agencies in Jilin Province are also paying close attention to this case. They believe this will be an important opportunity to prevent and eradicate human trafficking by sounding the alarm that anyone involved in human trafficking — Chinese or North Korean — will be harshly punished.

“With this latest incident, the police are stressing the need to respond aggressively to the problems of North Korean women illegally crossing the border and human trafficking. This suggests they’ll focus on investigating those female defectors who are connected with the defector who received the 10-year sentence.”

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

May 14, 2024 at 12:30PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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