February 11, 2004

“MYSTERY SURROUNDS WOULD-BE DEFECTOR:”

Norbert Vollertsen, a leading activist in the underground railway that brings out hundreds of North Koreans each year through China, said the would-be defector, Ri Chae-woo, had worked in the Chiha-ri Chemical Corporation in Anbyon, south of the port city of Wonsan.

He had a large volume of evidence of human experiments that have helped develop North Korea’s chemical/biological weapons program from a secret clinic dug into the mountains, Dr Vollertsen said, adding the aim was to bring this material before the United States Congress.

The North Korean expert, who had crossed into China in June with his wife and two teenage children, was arrested by Chinese police while trying to enter the Australian consulate-general in Guangzhou about 5pm on Friday.

He hasn’t been heard from since. Where’s Amnesty International on this?

UPDATE: But wait, there’s another one:

A North Korean man who fled with evidence that prisoners are used to test chemical weapons has been detained by China, a human rights worker said.

Kang Byong-sop, 58, was stopped last month in Yunnan province while trying to cross into Laos, Kim Sang-hun said.

Mr Kim called on the UK to stop China handing Mr Kang to North Korea, where he faced possible torture or death.

The Chinese seem awfully anxious to cover this up. I wonder why that would be? Could they have been outsourcing their own chem-bio weapons work to North Korea?

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