News24

Jolie concerned about N Koreans

2010-07-28 13:00

Seoul - Angelina Jolie took time out on Wednesday from her promotional movie tour of South Korea to investigate the fate of repatriated North Korean refugees.

Jolie, goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters she met local UNHCR representatives to talk about the issue.

"They spoke a lot about the concerns about people being persecuted when they are sent back to North Korea," said Jolie, visiting to promote her new spy thriller Salt.

"I know all of you are (concerned), as well, and you have been doing a great deal to help them... I'm just in solidarity with all of you," Yonhap news agency quoted her as saying.

Jolie said she was impressed by the support which North Korean refugees receive on arrival in the South.

Criticised agreement

"There's a lot of news about tension between the North and the South, but there's not much about how much care and support they continue to give to North Korea," she said.

Tens of thousands of North Koreans are believed to be hiding in China after fleeing their impoverished homeland.

Many try to travel on to South Korea via a third country because Beijing repatriates those refugees it catches, under a widely criticised agreement with Pyongyang. About 18 000 North Koreans have settled in the South since the 1950 - 1953 war.

Jolie also said she and her children love the Korean pop singer Rain, who played a lead role in the Hollywood action movie Ninja Assassin.

"The children are interested, and the mom thinks he's cool, also," she said.

Jolie arrived on a chartered flight from Tokyo late on Tuesday with four of her six children for her first visit to Korea. She was to attend a red-carpet ceremony and premiere at a Seoul cinema.