Viewing cable 06BANGKOK2202

06BANGKOK22022006-04-17 11:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bangkok
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK 002202 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/17/2016 
     ¶B. BANGKOK 2120 
     ¶C. BANGKOK 1340 
¶1. (U) This is an action request.  See para. 6. 
¶2. (C) SUMMARY. Six North Koreans (NK) accompanied by two NGO 
representatives from the Evangelical Movement for North Korea 
presented themselves at U.S. Embassy Bangkok about 1100 on 
April 17. They were not accompanied by media and the Embassy 
has received no press inquiries about them.  They were met by 
Embassy refugee officers, security officers, and two 
Korean-American US Embassy employees who served as 
translators.  The six NKs were interviewed separately by 
Embassy officers to ascertain biographical and other 
information.  After the interviews, Refcoord accompanied the 
group to the Bangkok Christian Guest House where rooms had 
been previously arranged by the International Organization 
for Migration (IOM).  Refcoord and Deputy RefCoord gave the 
NKs contact information and said they would be contacting the 
NKs about next steps.  Embassy Bangkok has also informed the 
OPs Center, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 
IOM, the Embassy's refugee processing unit, DHS/CIS, the ROK 
Embassy and the RTG of the NKs' arrival.  END SUMMARY. 
¶3. (C) Biographical information on the six refugees follows: 
Name: Shin, Chul Min 
DOB: Feb 14, 1986 
POB: Ham Kyung Book Do Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Male 
Family in NK: Father (Shin, Hyun Sik) and Mother (Rim, Young 
Suk), younger brothers (Shin, Chul Kuk and Shin, Myong Sim) 
First arrived in China Aug 31, 1999 
Name: Han, Jin Hee 
DOB: Feb 13, 1970 
POB: Shin Yeo Chu Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Female 
Family in NK: Father (Han, Yeon Kwan) and Mother (Choi, Soon 
Sun) are both deceased.  Two older sisters (Han, Jung Ae and 
Han, Jung Shil), younger sister (Han, Jin Soon) 
First arrived in China on July 10, 2003, has been co-habiting 
with a Korean Chinese man. 
Name: Choi, Sung Shil 
DOB: July 9, 1981 
POB: Ham Kyung Book Do Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Female 
Family in NK: Father (Choi, Su Man) deceased, Mother (Han, 
Kyung Hwa), older brother (Choi, Kyung San) 
On April 2, 2004, she left NK and arrived in Yeon Byon, China 
where she was sold to a Chinese man for 20,000 RMB.  She was 
his mistress for two years. 
Name: Shin, Song Hee 
DOB: Feb 2, 1986 
POB: Ham Kyung Book Do Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Female 
Family in NK: Father (Shin, Huong Suk) deceased since 1993, 
Mother (Dong, Oak Sun), Eldest brother ( Shin, Jae Won) is 
one of the six refugees.  Two other brothers are Shin, Jae 
Sun and Shin, Jae Jun). 
She fleed NK before but en route from Beijing to ROK Embassy 
in Mongolia to claim asylum, she was arrested by Chinese 
police and deported to NK.  She spent 11 months in 
interrogation at a political prison and served nine months 
additional sentence.  On Sept 21, 2005, she was released from 
prison, became sick for six months and made her final 
crossing to Yeon Byon, China on Feb 24, 2006. 
Name: Shin, Jae Won 
DOB: June 18, 1974 
POB: Ham Kyung Book Do Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Male 
Family in NK: Shin, Jae Won is the brother of Shin, Song Hee. 
 Refer to family information from above. 
He fled NK three times previously and was arrested and 
deported back to NK.  He was sent to a political prison and 
was released.  He made his final crossing to China on March 
12, 2004.  He served five years of the then mandatory 10 
years military duties before being medically discharged due 
to kidney problems.  He was a sniper with the NK Special 
Name: Nam, Mi Oak 
DOB: Dec 11, 1972 
POB: Ham Kyung Book Do Province, NK 
Nationality: NK 
Gender: Female 
Family in NK: Father (Nam, Sang Woon, DOB March 2, 1944) and 
Mother (Jang, Jeang Ho, DOB Dec 20, 1946), older brother 
(Nam, Seong Woo, DOB April 19, 1970). 
She was trafficked to Hei Loung Jong Province, China and sold 
to a Korean Chinese man in June 1998. 
¶4. (C) Refugee Route of Travel and other Information: From 
these brief assessment interviews, it appears that all six 
refugees crossed from North Korea to Yeon Byon, China.  All 
six refugees reported that they were assisted by missionary 
groups and notably cited assistance from Rev. Chun, Ki-won, 
Director of the Evangelical Movement for North Korea.  The 
group was instructed to travel to Kumming by train and 
crossed overland at Mengla, Yunnan Province into Laos.  They 
then traveled to Vientiane and crossed overland into Thailand 
at Nongkhai.  It is unclear whether or not they were 
accompanied through China and crossed borders with aid from 
missionary groups.  Rev. Chun joined them at the Thailand 
border crossing at Nongkhai.  Mr. Chun and Amcit Ms. Jeana 
Han, who stated that she was associated with the evangelical 
group, accompanied the six NKs to the Embassy.  Mr. Chun and 
Ms. Han stated that they intend to leave Thailand within the 
next couple days, at which point the six NKs will be by 
themselves.  Mr. Chun stated that he hoped to make some other 
arrangements to provide some limited assistance to the 
refugees while they remain in Thailand. 
¶5. (C) Notifying the RTG: The Ambassador spoke to Krit 
Ganjana-Goonchorn, MFA Permanent Secretary, regarding the NK 
refugees.  Krit thanked the Ambassador for informing him 
about their arrival.  He noted that the MFA, given the 
current circumstances, would require some time to formulate a 
position.  (Note: due to the political crisis and the 
parliamentary elections, all ministers are serving in a 
"caretaker" capacity, restricting the ability of the 
ministries to take decisive action.  The new government will 
not be in place until early May, at the soonest.)  Krit noted 
that the RTG had expressed some reservations in the past on 
the issue of processing NK refugees destined for the US.  The 
Ambassador reminded Krit of the more positive response in his 
latest discussions with the Foreign Minister and with NSC 
Secretary General Winai Phattiyakul (ref c).  Krit promised 
to work on coordinating a response.  The Ambassador 
subsequently contacted General Winai, who affirmed his 
previous intention to work with us on this issue.  General 
Winai emphasized the importance of keeping the story out of 
the press. 
¶6. (C) Action request:  Please provide guidance on whether 
the USG wants post to take further steps in processing these 
cases for U.S. resettlement.