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The World | IN BRIEF / CHINA

Asylum Seeker Hops German Embassy Wall

April 26, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A man thought to be from North Korea has climbed over a wall into the German Embassy compound in Beijing in an apparent attempt to seek political asylum, embassy officials said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the man was a North Korean refugee, but the German Embassy said it had yet to establish his nationality.

If the man is a North Korean asylum seeker, it would be the latest in a series of defections in Beijing which have placed China in an awkward position, torn between Communist ally North Korea, economic partner South Korea and the U.N. refugee agency.

China regards people fleeing over its northeastern border from North Korea as economic migrants and usually sends them back.

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