Two North Koreans who fled poor conditions at a Russian logging camp and later worked odd jobs sought asylum Tuesday at the South Korean consulate in an eastern Russian city, according to a human rights activist and news reports.[UPDATE: Yonhap now has a lengthier story.]
The former lumberjacks climbed over the fence of the South Korean mission in the city of Vladivostok, said Rev. Peter Chung, head of the Seoul-based human rights group Justice for North Korea.
Chung said that the two would demand to be sent to the United States, saying he knew about their plans through a member of his group in Russia.
The North Koreans, both 46, escaped logging camps in the Russian Far East, fleeing poor working conditions, and toiled as day laborers by moving around Siberia, Chung said. They later became Christians, he added.
We know of thousands of DPRK nationals who are laying low in China while hoping to somehow make it to a third country (and eventually South Korea or, increasingly, somewhere else), but Russia is also next to North Korea, but it gets a lot less play.