South Korean diplomats have taken custody of eight people believed to be North Koreans who entered a South Korean school in eastern China.

The North Koreans entered the school Tuesday in the city of Qingdao, along China's eastern coast asking to be sent to South Korea.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says it has appealed to Beijing not to send the asylum seekers back to North Korea.

China recently sent home seven North Koreans who sought asylum in August at a South Korean school in the Chinese city of Yentai.

Beijing has an agreement with Pyongyang to return asylum seekers, but has allowed many to travel to South Korea through third countries.

Hundreds of North Koreans have broken into embassies and foreign schools in China in recent years seeking asylum.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.