updated 10/21/2004 10:50:39 PM ET 2004-10-22T02:50:39

Twenty-nine people claiming to be North Korean asylum seekers cut through a wire fence and fled into a South Korean school in Beijing on Friday, a news report said.

The group entered the school and identified themselves to school authorities as North Koreans who were fleeing their homeland and wanted to travel to South Korea, the South’s national news agency, Yonhap, reported, without citing sources.

School authorities reported the incident to the South Korean embassy in Beijing, the report said. South Korean officials were not immediately available for comment.

The would-be defectors broke into the school exactly one week after a group of 20 North Koreans broke into the South Korean consulate.

Such asylum bids have become common in China, with North Koreans who are fleeing famine and repression in their communist nation rushing into embassies, schools and other foreign facilities.

Chinese officials have allowed many of the asylum seekers to leave the country for South Korea.

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