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Cablegate: (C) Two North Korean Refugees Headed to the U.S.,

VZCZCXRO7052
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0316 1000510
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 090510Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0662
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1647

C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 000316

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/K, AND PRM
BANGKOK FOR REFCOORD TIM SCHERER
GENEVA FOR RMA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/09/2018
TAGS: PREF KS KN CB
SUBJECT: (C) TWO NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES HEADED TO THE U.S.,
ONE NK APPLICANT REMAINS, AWAITING SAO SUBMITTED LAST
SEPTEMBER

REF: A. 07 PHNOM PENH 927
B. 07 PHNOM PENH 298
C. 07 PHNOM PENH 143
D. 07 PHNOM PENH 78

Classified By: Political Officer Janet Deutsch for reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d).

1. (C) Summary: Two North Korean refugees in Cambodia have
been approved for U.S. resettlement and are scheduled to
depart for the U.S. on April 16. Police Commissioner Hok
Lundy granted exit permission for the two individuals on
April 9, after receiving the request only a few days before.
Of the six North Korean individuals who were being reviewed
by the U.S. for possible resettlement, only one individual
will be left in Cambodia after April 16. He came to the
Embassy on January 17, 2007 -- one year and three months ago
-- and his processing has been stuck in the Security Advisory
Opinion (SAO) phase since September 2007. End summary.

2. (C) Two North Korean refugees are ready to head to their
new lives in the U.S. on April 16. KIM Uk Chul (M) and YOON
Ok Sun (F) approached the Embassy seeking resettlement in
July 2007 (Ref A). They are scheduled to depart Cambodia
together to arrive in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 17.


3. (SBU) Police Commissioner Hok Lundy, responsible for
issuing exit permission for refugees on behalf of the
Ministry of Interior, processed the exit request in only a
few days. International Organization for Migration (IOM)
received word of the refugees' approved status less than one
week ago. The Embassy sent a letter to Hok Lundy requesting
expedited processing so that the paperwork would not be
delayed by the long Khmer New Year national holiday. (Note:
many government offices are expected to be closed for a week
or longer starting April 11. End note.)

4. (C) The two refugees were the fifth and sixth North
Koreans to approach the Embassy seeking U.S. resettlement. A
group of four approached the Embassy January 17, 2007 (Ref
D). In February 2007, one of the original four decided not
to pursue U.S. resettlement (Ref B); two others departed for
the U.S. on November 19, 2007. Of the six North Korean
individuals who were being reviewed by the U.S. for possible
resettlement, only one, KIM Myong, will be left in Cambodia
after April 16. Poloff agreed to meet with KIM Myong on
April 9 after he had asked IOM staff repeatedly about his
delayed processing time compared to the four other refugees.
KIM Myong's processing has been in the Security Advisory
Opinion (SAO) phase since September 2007 and has already been
"refreshed" once due to a six-month expiration of SAOs that
have not yet cleared. Poloff told KIM that he has not been
forgotten but that there is no way to estimate how long the
processing time will take. The Embassy will work with the
Bangkok Refugee Coordinator to request a possible expedited
review of the SAO.

5. (C) Comment: We are pleased with Police Commissioner Hok
Lundy's cooperation in expeditiously processing the exit
permits for the two individuals. We have also been impressed
at his and other immigration officials' discreet handling of
the cases, including at the airport. During the quiet
November departure, no one at the airport noticed the North
Koreans' comings and goings. We continue to request
information about North Koreans in Cambodia be kept
close-hold. Please refer to 07 PHNOM PENH 143 for details on
the sensitive nature of these cases. As part of IOM's
cultural orientation training, IOM counsels North Korean
refugees that they are not obliged to talk to the press once
they are in the U.S. End comment.
MUSSOMELI

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