North Korean defectors to be tried in Myanmar

December 22nd, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Dec 22 (DPA) Nineteen North Korean defectors, who were arrested Dec 2 in Myanmar, are going to be tried this week for illegal entry, a local newspaper reported Monday.The North Korean group, which includes four children, was arrested in Tachilek, a town on the Myanmar-Thai border about 550 km northeast of Yangon after they were forced to shift their boat route from Thailand to Myanmar, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

After their departure from China’s southern province of Yunnan, they set out towards Thailand, travelling south along the Myanmar-Thai border, the paper said.

“But the river storm forced them to change the route towards the slow-flowing Myanmar side of the border,” one Korean resident in Myanmar close to their entry was quoted as saying.

The trial is expected to take place at the district court of the Kyaingtong city.

The North Koreans face either deportation back to China or Thailand or between six months and two years in prison.

Most North Korean defectors usually enter a third country like Thailand as a passage towards their final destination South Korea or the US.

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