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Top officials from the United States and China have held talks related to North Korea. 

The meeting, which took place in Tokyo, involved Jung Pak, the senior US official for North Korea, and Liu Xiaoming, China’s Special Representative on Korean Peninsula Affairs. This dialogue follows US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing last month, highlighting ongoing diplomatic engagements between the two powers.

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During their discussions, Pak raised multiple points of concern regarding North Korea’s actions and international relations, particularly its military ties with Russia and aggressive rhetoric towards neighboring countries. She emphasized the negative impact of Russia’s recent veto at the UN, which blocked the extension of a mandate for a panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea. According to Pak, this move could significantly obstruct the enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

According to the State Department, a significant part of their conversation focused on the humanitarian issues surrounding the forcible repatriation of North Koreans from China. They added that Pak also raised concerns regarding the “forcible repatriation of North Koreans, including asylum seekers, to the DPRK and called on Beijing to uphold its non-refoulement obligations.”

This comes after a report from a South Korea-based human rights group noted that up to 600 North Koreans had disappeared after being deported from China. The Transitional Justice Working Group has expressed concerns that these individuals might undergo imprisonment, torture, and other severe punishments upon their return to North Korea.


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