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Korea presses China for reinvestigation of torture claims

Publication Date : 06-09-2012

 

South Korea on Wednesday urged China to reinvestigate the alleged torture by Chinese investigators of a prominent North Korean human rights activist.

Kim Young-hwan, 49, was released on July 20 along with his three colleagues after 114 days of detention in China. Kim claimed upon return that he was tortured with beatings and electric shock. Beijing has denied the claims.

Consular affairs officials of the two countries held their first talks since Kim’s freedom in Beijing.

Ahn Young-jip, the director-general of overseas Koreans at the Foreign Ministry, and his Chinese counterpart Huang Ping agreed to set up a hotline to handle consular issues more promptly and smoothly in line with surging tourist and labor flows between the two countries.

They also discussed ways to boost the protection of their countrymen and cooperation in curbing illegal entrance and the fisheries industry, as well as a possible exemption or simplification of visas to expand personnel exchanges

“The two sides agreed on the urgent need for a bilateral consular pact for the protection of their own citizens residing in the partner country, for which they will hold a new round of working-level talks as soon as possible,” the ministry here said in a statement.

During the meeting, Huang also expressed gratitude for the Korean coast guard’s rescue work for seven Chinese fishermen whose two boats ran aground in waters off Jeju Island last week at the height of Typhoon Bolaven, it added.

 

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