World

China reports 1 person shot attempting to illegally cross border from North Korea

China says border guards have shot one person trying to illegally cross from North Korea.

A brief statement from the Helong city government said the incident took place shortly before 4:00 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Thursday after the suspect attempted to evade arrest by border guards. It says the shooting is under investigation.

China's 1,416-kilometer (880-mile) border with North Korea is a key crossing point for refugees from the impoverished hard-line communist state.

While China is treaty-bound to return refugees to its communist ally, it usually deals with them quietly to avoid attracting international condemnation. North Korea is known to punish defectors harshly with labor camp sentences or even execution in some cases.

While some North Koreans stay in China, most are believed to travel on to South Korea.