Theses and Dissertations


Shinhea Eom

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cavanaugh, Jeffrey

Committee Member

Radin, Dagmar

Committee Member

Travis, Rick L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science


China does not view North Koreans who are staying in its territory as refugees and routinely deports them to North Korea. However, in the early 21st century, there have been some cases in which China has allowed North Koreans to leave China instead of sending them back to North Korea. This thesis examines how China’s North Korean refugee policy has changed over the last two decades and whether international factors have influenced this policy. The results suggest that in the 1990’s China gave priority to the repatriation agreement with North Korea. However, in the 2000’s from its own experience with a number of foreign embassy intrusions by North Koreans, China has learned that the issue has potential for creating diplomatic problems with other countries. To avoid this conflict, China has tactically allowed North Koreans who have gained global attention to leave China, but otherwise still adheres its traditional deportation policy.