China, Yearly Allotment of Arrests of North Korean Defectors

[imText1]A Chinese security official of Yenji City testified that the reason why the number of arrests of North Korean defectors in China was the number it was in winter, was to make up for the “annual allotted number of arrests of North Koreans”

This official said, “Arrest of North Korean defectors happens around the year but especially during the between end of the year of the Chinese New Year’s day, the number of arrests increases dramatically.” As for the reason, the official further stated, “the main reason for this phenomenon is to make up for the annual allotted number of arrest of North Koreans.”

According to this official, the Chinese National Security Office sets each local police office a fixed number of ‘arrest of North Korean defectors.’ The numbers are added up at the end of the year, and in order to meet the number of arrest, they intensify security in order to arrest North Korean defectors around the end of the year through the Chinese New Year holidays.

The number of allotted arrests per local police office is about five a month, sixty a year. The official explained that the police offices were not obliged to meet the allotted number of arrests but because they cannot ignore demand from the higher department and in order to receive better evaluation of work, all of them go out to arrest North Korea defectors.”

The official further explained that the reason why the number of arrest increases during the coldest time of the year mainly is because the number of defectors increases starting in October when the Tuman River freezes and since there are many unable to get work, wander around during the winter.

Local Police office, Set a Goal Amount of Fines

Chinese Security Police have been intensifying security in three provinces in Northeast China – Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang – where they set a ‘Special Criminal Investigation Period’ from December until the Chinese New Year in mid-February. The special inspection is not only geared towards arresting North Korean defectors, but because there is an increase of criminal acts due to increases in unemployment during the winter, general security inspections are intensified where more North Korean defectors are arrested in the process.

Especially during this period of special inspection, many activists working for North Korean defectors, including missionaries, are arrested as well. The Chinese official stated, “High Security Departments are setting local departments with goal amounts of fines because they can fine a high amount of money to the activists or missionaries caught for assisting North Korean defectors, which the method police choose to do.”

‘Goal Amount of Fines’ vary from a police office to another, but generally it is around 300,000 yuan per year. A person caught for assisting North Korean defectors are fined between 10,000 to 50,000 yuan.

Lim Sun Hwa, who had married a Chinese man and now resides in a farm village close to Tuman River, testified to the current situation as, “Chinese police no longer consider North Korean women married to Chinese men as a big problem as before.”

Since North Korean women sold by traffickers to the farm villages in China are considered as ‘property assets,’ when these women are arrested by the police, police are faced with mass protest of the villagers. However, the Chinese official said, “in order to meet the ‘annual allotted number of arrest of North Koreans’ women like those are arrested as well, as the last option.”

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at