A new report from Seoul alleges that North Korean agents have been roving around northeast China looking for defectors and abducting South Koreans in Manchuria who are helping North Korean refugees. This is fairly explosive stuff, and if true (particularly if publicized within China) would open up a sensitive issue for the Chinese. It is one thing for the PRC to arrest and detain illegal aliens under its own initiative, it is another thing entirely to allow DPRK agents across the border with the express goal of smuggling the refugees and their helpers out.
For American reporters, the money quote is at the end of the article:
Kim Young Jin himself testified that he was involved in kidnapping case of Pastor Kim Dong Shik, who had helped defectors in Yanji (in January, 2000)…
Mr. Kim continued to explain that, “They have repatriated countless defectors in China to the North and been rewarded with antiques and drugs, then they sell them for funds of their activities and others.”
Vice-President of the Committee for Democratization of North Korea Kang Cheol Hwan said, “The nature of North Korea’s NSA will not change to threaten defectors and South Korean supporters for them in border areas in China. The two American journalists’ case was a part of their activities.”
The story does not appear on the Chinese version of the Daily NK’s website, which is available in the PRC, and I would anticipate seeing no pursual of this story in mainland Chinese media.