North re­leases two S. Kore­ans de­tained for illegal en­try

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

North Korea on Wed­nes­day repa­tri­ated two South Kore­ans in their 50s who were de­tained last month for il­le­gally en­ter­ing the com­mu­nist state, Seoul’s Uni­fi­ca­tion Min­istry said.

The two — a 59-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman — were re­ported miss­ing while trav­el­ing in north­east­ern China near the bor­der with North Korea.

It re­mains un­clear who they are and why they en­tered the Stal­in­ist state, but Yon­hap news agency said they were be­lieved to be hus­band and wife.

The two were handed over to the South at Pan­munjom, an ar­mistice vil­lage sit­ting on the in­ter-Korean bor­der, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

They will be ques­tioned to iden­tify the rea­sons why they en­tered the North with­out au­tho­riza­tion, an of­fi­cial of the min­istry said.

Py­ongyang sent home six South Kore­ans in 2013 and a 52-year-old South Korean man last year af­ter re­ject­ing their re­quests for de­fec­tion.

How­ever, it has re­jected Seoul’s re­peated calls to free four other South Kore­ans, in­clud­ing a New York Univer­sity stu­dent and three mis­sion­ar­ies, who were de­tained af­ter il­le­gally en­ter­ing the coun­try.

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