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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05HANOI136
2005-01-18 10:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Hanoi
Cable title:  

(C) DETAILS ON NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM-SEEKERS'

Tags:   PGOV  PREF  SU  VM  FR  KN  HUMANR  DPRK 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

181002Z Jan 05

ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   CIAE-00  INL-00   C-00     
      DODE-00  DOEE-00  PERC-00  DS-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  VC-00    
      H-00     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     CAC-00   
      VCE-00   M-00     AC-00    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OCS-00   OES-00   
      OIC-00   OIG-00   OMB-00   PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   
      P-00     SCT-00   FMPC-00  SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00    
      TRSE-00  T-00     BBG-00   R-00     IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  
      PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /001W
                  ------------------A55C32  181113Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6247
INFO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY SEOUL 
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 
AMEMBASSY TOKYO 
AMCONSUL SHENYANG 
USMISSION GENEVA
						C O N F I D E N T I A L HANOI 000136 

SIPDIS


STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREF SU VM FR KN HUMANR DPRK
SUBJECT: (C) DETAILS ON NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM-SEEKERS'
DEPARTURE FROM HANOI

REF: A. HANOI 3365


B. HANOI 3389

Classified By: Ambassador Michael W. Marine. Reason: 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (C) Summary: Six North Korean asylum-seekers, four in the
French Embassy and two in the Swedish Embassy, departed
Vietnam January 7 for Singapore and, soon after, the ROK.
Throughout the affair, the GVN's generally helpful and
forthcoming attitude was in contrast to that of the ROK
Embassy, according to the Swedish Embassy. In arranging the
departure of the North Koreans, both the GVN and the ROK
Embassy insisted, out of deference to the DPRK, that the six
depart Vietnam on French and Swedish travel documents. In
the end, the GVN reportedly insisted to the Swedes that the
Swedish Embassy would have to turn over to Vietnamese
authorities any future asylum-seekers, who would then be sent
back to China. End Summary.



2. (C) Swedish Embassy DCM Helena Sangeland briefed us
January 18 on the details surrounding the January 7 departure
from Hanoi of the two North Korean asylum-seekers in the
Swedish Embassy and the four in the French Embassy (reftels).
From the beginning, the GVN officials with whom the Swedish
Embassy dealt were generally "very helpful" and
"forthcoming," Sangeland said. The GVN seemed eager to both
keep the affair under wraps and quickly find a solution.
Contacts with officials from the ROK Embassy were less
productive, however. According to Sangeland, South Korean
Embassy officials initially seemed reluctant to involve
themselves, eventually requiring the intervention of the ROK
Ambassador to "get things moving." Sangeland guessed that
the ROK Embassy's hesitancy was designed to send the message
that "getting to Seoul via Hanoi is neither smooth nor easy."



3. (C) Once engaged, the ROK Embassy declared that
establishing that the six North Koreans' "true intent" was to
"travel to Seoul" was the sine qua non. To that end, a South
Korean EmbOff interviewed the Swedish Embassy's two
asylum-seekers in Sangeland's presence. Their exchange
seemed "comfortable," the DCM said. Following the interview,
the ROK EmbOff told the Swedes that the North Koreans had
said that, after arriving in Hanoi, they made their way to a
Korean restaurant, at which they were pointed in the
direction of the Swedish Embassy and "other embassies."
(Note: The North Koreans had initially asserted that they
had no help at all in finding their way to the Swedish
Embassy. End note.)



4. (C) Initially, all sides concerned, including the GVN and
ROK Embassy, had settled on Bangkok as the best transfer
point. However, the tsunami disaster and the increased
demands that it put on both the Thai Government and the
Swedish Embassy in Bangkok led to the decision to switch to
Singapore.



5. (C) According to the Swedish DCM, both the ROKG and the
GVN had insisted, out of deference to the DPRK, that the
French and Swedish Governments issue to the asylum-seekers
"laissez-passer" documents, in which the GVN subsequently
affixed visas and stamped entry franks. The six North
Koreans departed Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport
January 7 via a Singapore Air flight to Singapore and were
accompanied by DCM Sangeland and a vice consul from the
French Embassy. The group was met in Singapore by
Singaporean and ROK officials, who took charge of the six,
presented them with documents for travel to South Korea and
escorted them to an ROK-bound flight. The handover in
Singapore seemed "very routinized," Sangeland observed.



6. (C) As helpful as the GVN had been, however, the Swedes'
main interlocutor, a Deputy Director General in the MFA's
Consular Department, had in the end underlined that this
would be the "first and last time." In the future, the
Swedish Embassy would have to hand over to the GVN any DPRK
asylum-seekers who ca