Go to contents

THE DONG-A ILBO Logo

9 repatriated N.K. defectors executed or sent to labor camp

9 repatriated N.K. defectors executed or sent to labor camp

Posted December. 02, 2014 07:13,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

한국어

Park Sun-young, chairman of Dream Makers for North Korea, a civic group, said on Monday, “I heard from a cooperative source in North Korea that out of nine young North Korean defectors who were deported from Laos back to North Korea in May last year, two were executed and seven were sent to a labor camp.”

As North Korea came under criticism after forcibly sending them back to the North, it made the youths appear on a panel discussion on the Korean Central News Agency on June 21, 2013, where they claimed, “An anti-humanitarian crime was revealed that a religious South Korean kidnapped our youths and tried to drag them to the South.”

If it is true that the North executed the repatriated youths, it will create quite a stir given that the regime violated the human rights of the young people who it used for its propaganda in the media.

Park said, “The source said two were executed in August or September this year and one of them was Mun Chol, 24. The other seven were imprisoned to the labor camp 14 in Gaechon, North Korea this spring.” Although the camp is called a management office in the North, it is considered a political prison camp. Until this spring, the nine youths were allocated in four different places including a guest house off the east coast, a relief facility for children in an area that cannot be identified and a rehabilitation center.

“A relief facility for children is for orphans, and a rehabilitation center is similar to a prison in South Korea," Park said. "Since some of them were in a guest house, I was relieved that North Korea would not kill them at least. But now I’m concerned that the remaining seven who are sent to the labor camp could barely survive.”

The North seems to execute or send the youths to a labor camp because they did not cooperate as the regime wanted to use them for propaganda.

The North Korean defectors had tried to come to the South via Laos after staying in China with a South Korean missionary for three months to three years. However, they were caught by police while crossing the border of Laos in May last year and were sent back to the North.