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School turns over N. Koreans


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A Canadian embassy official walks past a ladder used by a group of suspected North Koreans.
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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A private school in Shanghai run by Americans has turned over nine North Korean women to Chinese police after they entered the facility in an apparent bid for asylum.

Word of the asylum attempt came a day after 44 North Koreans successfully scaled the wall into the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai told CNN of the school entry bid on Thursday.

"The Shanghai American School is an independent international school registered with the Shanghai educational authorities and not part of the U.S. Consulate," she said. The school enjoys no diplomatic immunity.

The Shanghai American School is run by Americans and teaches a U.S. curriculum, typically to the children of American citizens.

The women entered the school facility Monday afternoon and were turned over to authorities the same day.

"The school followed pre-arranged contingency plan and informed local police," she said.

"The group was handed over to police and removed without incident."

According to the spokeswoman, "The U.S. government has urged Chinese authorities both in Beijing and Shanghai not to return these individuals to North Korea against their will."

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang Thursday said China is against such tactics.

"We hope Canada will hand them over to the Chinese side to handle, because we oppose this method of breaking into embassies as it relates to the issue of the security of embassies in China," Shen said.

"With these people, we will also handle them in accordance with international law, domestic law and humanitarianism."

CNN Beijing producer Steven Jiang contributed to this story.


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