The Thai authorities have rejected the South Korean proposal to build a focal point for dealing with the North Koreans who illegally enter the country because of concerns it could encourage an influx of immigrants from the communist nation.
South Korea had requested the government earlier this year to build the center in the province of Chiang Rai, a popular entry point for illegal immigrants from North Korea in Thailand.
Most immigrants have fled the economic hardships in North Korea and traveled to Thailand to seek temporary refuge in the hope of resettlement in third countries, usually South Korea, a source of Security Operations Command Internal (ISOC), said.
From last October until April this year, 899 North Koreans were arrested for trespassing, said spokesman Maj. Gen. Dithaporn Sasamit ISOC. The source said that South Korea had offered to pay to take care of illegal immigrants. However, the government had rejected the proposal because it had a policy to open a new refugee center.
The South Korean government has played an important role in helping North Korea by allowing them to settle in their country.
Pol Maj Gen Phansak Kasemasanta, deputy chief of the Bureau of Immigration, said the North Koreans to enter Thailand illegally would be arrested.
After being tried in the courts, immigrants would be detained at the Immigration Office awaiting deportation.
Immigrants often protest have been sent back to North Korea, allowing South Korean officials to intervene and help, said Pol Maj Gen Phansak.
He added that instead of building a new center for immigrants from North Korea, South Korea may help improve the detention center submitted to the Office of Immigration.
North Korea could stay there along with other illegal immigrants from other nations, he said.
According to the ISOC and the Immigration Office, the North Koreans, usually aided by human trafficking gangs to travel to China.
Then he got aboard the Chinese cargo to Laos before boarding small boats or travel on foot to Chiang Rai Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts.
“The trips are organized by gangs made up of North Korea, China and Thailand,” said Major General Thawip Bunma, a senior official of the ISOC.
The ISOC and the Bureau of Immigration have been following for the people involved in gangs trafficking in human beings.
However, Pol Maj Phansak said police still have no evidence to confirm that Thai involved.North Korean immigrants who were arrested have told officials they had to pay at least 100,000 baht to help the bands to organize your trip to Thailand.
Most migrants are willing to surrender to authorities in Thailand, as the first step for them to travel to third countries ultimately wish to settle in.