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South Korea Media: North Koreans Enter US Consulate in China

Reports from South Korea say four North Koreans have entered a U.S. diplomatic mission in China.

South Korean media report Saturday the North Koreans entered the U.S. consulate in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, after first taking refuge in the nearby South Korean consulate.

The reports say the North Koreans are in the process of seeking asylum in the United States, but did not say when they defected.

South Korean, Chinese and U.S. officials have not commented on the matter.

Friday, a South Korean human rights group said a senior North Korean scientist and the head of a military hospital defected and are applying for asylum in South Korea.

The Citizen's Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees says the defectors are living in a Southeast Asian country it did not identify.

Human rights groups believe hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have fled the country since the end of the Korean War in 1953 to escape poverty and persecution. The majority cross the border into neighboring China.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.