DE RUEHMO #0104 0121523
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 121523Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6346
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0721
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4148
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2637
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0034
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4976
S E C R E T MOSCOW 000104
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2016
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL RS KN
SUBJECT: NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKERS APPROACH UNHCR
REF: A. PARKER/PETTIT E-MAIL 1/4/07
쨋B. STATE 203879
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Alice G. Wells.
Reasons 1.4 (b and d).
쨋1. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us January 12 that
XXXXXXXXXXXX was aware of seven North Korean asylum
seekers in Moscow. XXXXXXXXXXXX said
XXXXXXXXXXXX had passed this information
during a January 10 meeting with XXXXXXXXXXXX.
The seven are laborers who had been working in a timber
camp in the Russian Far East, according to Chun.
XXXXXXXXXXXX has scheduled interviews for them
January 18. They are currently in Moscow, and they are being
cared for by XXXXXXXXXXXX who has previously
facilitated contacts between UNHCR and other North Korean
asylum seekers. Thus far, UNHCR has not approached the
Russian government about this group and does not believe they
are in imminent danger.
쨋2. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX said that XXXXXXXXXXXX
had specifically asked XXXXXXXXXXXX whether resettlement
to the United States was an option. XXXXXXXXXXXX responded
to XXXXXXXXXXXX that the chief concern was the safety of
the asylum seekers and their rapid departure from Russia, which
had made South Korea the best alternative in the past, according
to XXXXXXXXXXXX. We emphasized
that the U.S. was willing to accept UNHCR referrals of North
Koreans and that this should be presented as an option.
XXXXXXXXXXXX agreed to do so.
쨋3. (S) COMMENT: Based on XXXXXXXXXXXX involvement, we believe
this is the group in ref A. The GOR has always indicated
that it would consider the possibility of facilitating
resettlement to the U.S. if a specific case arose, and as
long as it was handled quietly. If the North Koreans are
declared refugees and seek resettlement in the U.S., this
would be the first time we would be able to raise specific
cases with the GOR. We will follow up with UNHCR to ensure
that U.S. resettlement is presented as an option, as noted in
ref B. Further details will be reported as they develop. END