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Viewing cable 07MOSCOW104, NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKERS APPROACH UNHCR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW104 2007-01-12 15:03 2010-12-06 21:09 SECRET Embassy Moscow
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0104 0121523
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 121523Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6346
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0721
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4148
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2637
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0034
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4976
S E C R E T MOSCOW 000104 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2016 
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL RS KN
SUBJECT: NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKERS APPROACH UNHCR 

REF: A. PARKER/PETTIT E-MAIL 1/4/07 
B. STATE 203879 

Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Alice G. Wells. 
Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 

1. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us January 12 that
XXXXXXXXXXXX was aware of seven North Korean asylum 
seekers in Moscow. XXXXXXXXXXXX said 
XXXXXXXXXXXX  had passed this information 
during a January 10 meeting with XXXXXXXXXXXX. 
The seven are laborers who had been working in a timber
 camp in the Russian Far East, according to Chun. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX has scheduled interviews for them 
January 18. They are currently in Moscow, and they are being 
cared for by XXXXXXXXXXXX who has previously 
facilitated contacts between UNHCR and other North Korean 
asylum seekers. Thus far, UNHCR has not approached the 
Russian government about this group and does not believe they 
are in imminent danger. 

2. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX said that XXXXXXXXXXXX 
had specifically asked XXXXXXXXXXXX whether resettlement
 to the United States was an option. XXXXXXXXXXXX responded
 to XXXXXXXXXXXX that the chief concern was the safety of 
the asylum seekers and their rapid departure from Russia, which 
had made South Korea the best alternative in the past, according 
to XXXXXXXXXXXX. We emphasized 
that the U.S. was willing to accept UNHCR referrals of North 
Koreans and that this should be presented as an option. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX agreed to do so. 

3. (S) COMMENT: Based on XXXXXXXXXXXX involvement, we believe 
this is the group in ref A. The GOR has always indicated 
that it would consider the possibility of facilitating 
resettlement to the U.S. if a specific case arose, and as 
long as it was handled quietly. If the North Koreans are 
declared refugees and seek resettlement in the U.S., this 
would be the first time we would be able to raise specific 
cases with the GOR. We will follow up with UNHCR to ensure 
that U.S. resettlement is presented as an option, as noted in 
ref B. Further details will be reported as they develop. END 
COMMENT. 
RUSSELL