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S. Korean man sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China: Seoul official

All Headlines 15:59 May 25, 2012

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean man has been sentenced to death for drug trafficking in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, a senior official at Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

The 53-year-old convict, who is only identified by his surname Jang, was found guilty of smuggling 11.9 kilograms of methamphetamine into China and selling it, the ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

A lower court in Qingdao announced the sentence earlier in the day, bringing the number of South Korean nationals on death row in China for drug trafficking to four, according to the official.

Jang was arrested in 2009 in Qingdao along with four other South Korean nationals. The Qingdao court sentenced two of the four to "suspended death penalties" and the remaining two offenders were given a life sentence and a 15-year jail term, the official said.

Under Chinese law, the trafficking of at least 50 grams of any illicit drug is punishable by death.

Jang plans to appeal and it is expected to take about one year before a final ruling is made, the official said, adding that the ministry plans to appeal for clemency.

"With regard to the sentence on Jang, we plan to appeal for clemency within the scope of not infringing on the judicial sovereignty of China," the official said.

"But, there is a chance we can't expect a tangible result."

China has executed several other foreigners convicted of drug trafficking, including a British citizen in 2009, four Japanese in 2010 and three Filipinos last year, according to the official.


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