Continuing exchanges between Chinese and North Korean officials over illegal cross-border migration.
June 18, 1959
Cable, Chinese Embassy in North Korea to the Foreign Ministry Consular Affairs Department
This document was made possible with support from Henry Luce Foundation
Consular No. 5/51
June 18, 1959
To the Consular Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security:
(1959) Korean Consular No. 039
The [North] Korean Side Again Urges China to Address the Issue of Korean Citizens Crossing the International Border Into China
On February 20, Ri Chang-jeong [Li Chang Jong] of the Korean Foreign Ministry Consular Affairs Department again urged China to address the issue of Korean citizens illegally crossing the international border into China.
Ri said: Recently we understand that some Korean citizens who had crossed the border illegally requested permission from the local public security organs permission to return to Korea but Chinese public security refused to accept their application and told the applicant that they would need to go to a Korean consulate to apply. In fact, until the Chinese side implements the bilateral agreement reached in March of last year on opiniosn on handling the matter of illegal border crossers, our consulates will have difficulty getting the job done.
Ri continued: We believe that the great majority of the people who cross the border illegally into China are good people. Their purpose in crossing the border illegally is to reunite with family members whom they haven't seen for a long time. Because they crossed the border illegally, they can't find a job and have to come back to Korea. We are also willing to take them back so that they can participate in national construction. If they can be allowed to return, we could issue them Korean passports to facilitate their return.
Our Embassy conveyed our opinion on handling the illegal border crossings issue after a bilateral agreement on how to handle this issue was reached in March of last year. That is already one year and four months ago. Korea has already done some work on this. They recently sent us documentation on 231 Korean nationality Chinese citizens who illegally crossed the international border into Korea.
However, China has still not responded to the Korean side with information on the status of cases of Korean citizens who illegal crossed the border to China.
[Underlined twice in archival copy] Each time the Korean side asks about this, our Embassy feels very agitated.
Please provide guidance as to how to respond to Korea on this matter.
[seal] Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
June 18, 1959
North Korean and Chinese officials discuss what to do with Koreans who have illegally entered China.
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