Mongolia has closed its borders to defecting North Korean citizens seeking a route to South Korea.
As the North Korean economy has plummeted and many North Koreans lack food, defections from the Communist country has greatly increased. Just over the border in neighboring China, estimates put the number of Koreans who have fled as high as 40,000 to 50,000.
After a number of high profile events in which North Koreans seeking asylum stormed embassies in Beijing, China began preventing North Koreans from crossing their common border.
Many North Koreans reaching China would continue their journey to Mongolia, with the hope of eventually settling in South Korea.
However, along with countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, Mongolia has begun turning North Korean defectors away from their borders.
In general, observers see this as an act to placate North Korea, which often protests the presence of their citizens in neighboring countries.