The Associated Press reported two North Koreans, both 46, who fled poor conditions at a Russian logging camp and later worked odd jobs, sought asylum on March 9 at the South Korean consulate in an eastern Russian city, according to news reports. The men 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. More than 32,000 North Koreans work in Russian logging camps legally and often send their wages back home. In recent years, thousands of North Koreans facing hunger and repression at home have made the long and risky journey into China and on to Southeast Asia. Many seek eventual asylum in South Korea. More than 18,000 North Koreans have arrived in the South since the Korean War. The war ended with a 1953 cease-fire that has never been replaced with a peace treaty.

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