Chinese police arrest escaped North Korean convict

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

As reported by state-run Chinese newspaper The Beijing News on Sunday, a North Korean defector has been captured by law enforcement after a 42-day-long chase following his escape from prison. Going by the Chinese name Zhu Xianjian, the 39 year-old man had been arrested for illegal entry into China, theft, and larceny. His deportation back to North Korea from Jilin Province was scheduled to take place in 2023, after his sentence ended.

Jilin Province on a map of China.
Image: User:TUBS.

Images and video of the capture were released alongside the report, showing Zhu being carried into a police car by law enforcement, near the lakeside house where he was apprehended. According to a video released by the South China Morning Post, reports say that Zhu was shot in the leg while trying to flee. A 200,000 yuan (31,284 USD) bounty had been instituted for any tips or information that could lead to the defector's capture, Business Insider reported. Zhu had escaped from Jilin prison on October 18, after climbing on a storage shed and leaping off a wall.

Zhu had escaped from North Korea in July 2013, after swimming across the Tumen river, which acts as a natural border between North Korea and China. Prior to his escape, Zhu had been living as a coal miner in North Korea.

North Korean defectors face imprisonment and possible torture if caught in China. A bilateral border agreement signed in 1986 between China and North Korea warrants the deportation of all Korean defectors caught by Chinese authorities back to North Korea.