문서참조번호 생성일 비밀등급 출처 태극
06SEOUL471 2006-02-10 01:07 기밀(3급) 주한 미국 대사관

제 목: 한국 정부는 미국 정부의 탈북자 전략에 대해 우려 표명

구글 검색 노출을 피하기 위해 번역본은 링크로 제공 제 목: 한국 정부는 미국 정부의 탈북자 전략에 대해 우려 표명 포와로 탐정의 번역

06SEOUL471.rtf
C O N F I D E N T I A L SEOUL 000471 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2015 
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL KS KN
SUBJECT: ROK EXPRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT USG REFUGEE STRATEGY 
 
REF: A. STATE 04712 
 
     ¶B. SEOUL 155 
     ¶C. SEOUL 166 
 
Classified By: POL M/C Joseph Y. Yun.  Reasons 1.4 (b), (d). 
 
SUMMARY AND COMMENT 
------------------- 
 
¶1.  (C) In a February 8 meeting with POL M/C, MOFAT DG Kim 
Won-soo opined it would be premature to approach third 
countries about a U.S. proposal (ref A) on North Korean 
refugees until there was a clear case of a North Korean being 
potentially eligible for resettlement to the United States. 
ROKG officials were concerned that consultations at this time 
with host governments could seriously undermine informal 
procedures that have helped facilitate the movement of North 
Koreans to the South.  Underscoring the importance of a role 
for UNHCR, Kim suggested that U.S. and UNHCR officials hold 
bilateral talks before the next round of U.S.-ROKG 
discussions.  Kim stressed that his remarks were preliminary 
and not a formal ROK response to our ref A proposal to 
process refugees for the United States in third countries. 
At a minimum, however, it now seems unlikely Seoul will 
actively support our initiative.  The ROKG is uncomfortable 
with the prospect of North Korean refugees proceeding to the 
United States, especially if there appears to be a South 
Korean role, as it fears the publicity that is likely to 
accompany American acceptance of a few North Koreans could 
negatively affect its own policy and procedure on refugee 
resettlement.  END COMMENT AND SUMMARY. 
. 
ROKG: DON'T ROCK THE BOAT 
------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (C) During a lunch meeting on February 8, Kim Won-soo, 
MOFAT Director-General for Policy Planning, said the ROKG was 
still examining the U.S. proposal on North Korean refugees 
(reftels), but his initial take was that it was premature to 
approach third countries until we were able to present them 
with a North Korean with a clear case for admission to the 
United States.  Approaching these countries now might 
undermine the ROKG's current program and jeopardize 
cooperation between host governments and South Korean 
officials, which would complicate the ability of North Korean 
refugees to secure asylum. 
 
¶3.  (C) DG Kim said that Mongolia, for example, was currently 
the ROKG's most important route for the movement of North 
Koreans to South Korea, and Seoul had to protect this 
arrangement.  Last year the ROK accepted 1,386 North Koreans, 
of whom some 400-500 came to South Korea via Mongolia, thanks 
to an informal understanding between South Korean and 
Mongolian authorities.  ROKG officials paid expenses to 
shelter North Koreans in Mongolia while they were preparing 
for onward movement to South Korea.  Kim said the North 
Koreans were fed, clothed, and housed until they could be 
flown directly from Mongolia to South Korea on commercial 
aircraft, often in groups of less than eight, in order to 
give the appearance of private tourist travel.  Kim 
speculated that Mongolia and Russia would be very cautious 
about the proposed USG refugee initiative.  Probably, Kim 
said, the GOM could very well decide to shut down the refugee 
flow, which would have disastrous consequences. 
. 
CONCERNED ABOUT PUBLICITY 
------------------------- 
 
¶4.  (C) DG Kim urged that UNHCR be given a greater role in 
the American proposal, because the first case of a North 
Korean refugee resettled to the United States would generate 
much media attention.  The resulting publicity could turn up 
pressure on host governments to avoid further provoking North 
Korea.  It could also lead to the disclosure of South Korean 
and NGO efforts to protect and transport North Koreans, 
thereby threatening the welfare of the refugees.  UNHCR 
involvement might provide cover for relief efforts by 
determining the North Korean refugee's free choice and 
countering the claim that North Koreans were being resettled 
against their will.  Politically, he said, it would be easier 
for Seoul to assist with identity checks with UNHCR 
involvement. 
 
¶5.  (C) Although Seoul viewed UNHCR as an important player in 
the issue, Kim said he was unsure whether UNHCR was willing 
to take on a larger role because it could face problems with 
host governments.  He suggested that U.S. officials have 
another bilateral meeting with UNHCR before the next round of 
U.S.-South Korean talks on refugee issues. 
 
¶6.  (C) DG Kim thought initial U.S. resettlements of North 
Koreans would encourage more to seek asylum, especially if 
they knew that Seoul would take all North Koreans who failed 
to be eligible for U.S. admission.  He reiterated that Seoul 
indeed would accept any North Korean who was denied admission 
to the United States.  To avoid having many unqualified 
people apply to the U.S. program, however, he suggested 
distributing clear criteria to promote more qualified North 
Koreans candidates.  In addition to the criteria in the 
U.S.-delivered non-paper (ref A), he asked whether having 
family members or clear job prospects in the United States 
would be additional criteria for successful relocation to the 
United States. 
. 
USG: MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE 
-------------------------- 
 
¶7.  (C) Political M/C stressed that Washington was very 
interested in playing a more active role with North Korean 
refugees.  Congress had repeatedly made it clear that it 
wanted the USG to facilitate the admission of North Korean 
refugees to the United States as required by the North Korean 
Human Rights Act.  POL M/C also reminded Kim that the 
Ambassador had raised the USG North Korean refugee strategy 
with Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon (ref C). 
VERSHBOW