13:06 GMT17 February 2020
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    China said on Monday that it had properly handled the issue of some North Koreans illegally entering the country, saying "those who enter illegally cannot be categorized as refugees."

    "The North Koreans who illegally trespassed into China are not refugees. They broke China's law and entered the country in an illegal manner," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily briefing on Monday. 

    The Chinese government has properly handled the issues related to the illegal entry of North Koreans in accordance with China's law, international law and the principle of humanitarianism, according to Lu. 

    The remarks came after Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said Friday that he was "alarmed" by the alleged increase of repatriations of North Koreans from China, AFP reported. 

    "We urge UN's human rights mechanism to abide by the principles in the UN Charter and relevant people to fulfill their duties in a fair and objective manner," said Lu. 

    "We also urge it to respect the normal law enforcement of China's judicial organizations," Lu added. 

    This article was first published in the Global Times.

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    Tags:
    defection, refugee, Lu Kang, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China
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