Chinese police report finding bodies of 56 North Korean would-be refugees in Yalu river

UPDATE: This story was picked up by Yonhap, the Korea Herald, and the Choson Ilbo  (twice).–probably because of Joshua.

By Michael Rank

Chinese police have reported how the bodies of 56 North Koreans attempting to flee to China, including seven children, were found floating in the Yalu river in 2003.

An official notice issued by police in the border town of  Baishan in Jilin province describes how 53 corpses were discovered by local people on the morning of October 3, 2003, followed by three more at 5 a.m. the following day.

“An examination found that the dead were all citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Postmortems showed that the 56 bodies had all been shot. The evidence suggests that they had been shot by Korean armed border guards when attempting to cross illicitly into China,” says the document, dated October 7, 2003.

The dead consisted of 36 males and 20 females, including five boys and two girls.

The bodies were cremated locally on October 6, and township officials are “awaiting instructions from higher authority” on what to do with the ashes and with possessions found on the bodies. The document was issued by Badaogou police station in Baishan, a town in Changbai Korean Autonomous County which covers a large area on the North Korean border.

I am grateful to “treasuresthouhast” who posted the document here. He took it from an unnamed Chinese blog which apparently reposted it from


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