Mongolia and Thailand have denied holding any discussion with South Korea on the possibility of setting up a North Korean refugee camp in their territories, Yonhap News reported Saturday, quoting Radio Free Asia.
The two countries’ statements were announced through their foreign ministries respectively. In March, President Lee Myung-bak instructed the Unification Ministry to consider establishing refugee camps in such countries as Thailand and Mongolia where there are many North Korean refugees, Grand National Party lawmaker Hong Jung-wook revealed.
An official with the Mongolia Foreign Ministry said, “We don’t have any plan to set up a refugee camp in Mongolia. Neither did we discuss the matter with South Korea, nor did we reach any agreement,” RFA reported.
The official also said, “The issue wasn’t discussed during South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan’s visit to Mongolia last month.”
The Mongolian foreign ministry official didn’t answer a question on the country’s official policy on North Korean refugees.
The South Korean Embassy in Mongolia, however, told RFA that “the Mongolian government doesn’t officially recognize North Korean defectors entering the country as refugees, but it doesn’t repatriate them either. Rather, it sends them to third countries on humanitarian grounds.”