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North Korea

Question for Home Office

UIN HL3710, tabled on 12 December 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consider North Korean asylum seekers to hold South Korean nationality; and whether the possession of South Korean nationality disqualifies North Korean asylum seekers from refugee status in the United Kingdom under Article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Answered on

17 December 2014

As with any other nationality, all asylum and human rights applications from North Korean nationals are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations and against the background of the latest available country of origin information from a wide range of well-recognised sources.

However, the Government considers that all North Korean citizens are also citizens of South Korea. This was confirmed by the courts in the country guidance case of "GP & Ors (South Korean citizenship) North Korea CG [2014] UKUT 391 (IAC) (20 August 2014)".

Any application for asylum owing to a fear of persecution in North Korea is, therefore, likely to fall for refusal on the basis that:

(i) The applicant will not be removed to North Korea. The applicant could be returned to South Korea which is not a country where they have a well founded fear of persecution;


(ii) The applicant could reasonably be expected to avail himself of the protection of South Korea, where they could assert citizenship.

Answered by

Home Office