Wednesday, October 03, 2007

North Korean defector’s death raising concern in South Korea

A North Korean defector who had entered South Korea early this year ended her life by throwing herself from a window of a 10th-floor apartment in downtown Seoul this past month.

Kim Young-sil, 36, committed suicide in the early hours, South Korea's Yonhap said, adding that her death came as a cold shock to some 1,000 North Korean settlers who live in the same apartment complex.

Kim had been previously repatriated back to North Korea from China at least four times in her attempt to flee the starving country before she finally made it to South Korea. She was known to suffer from depression due to her post-traumatic stress from repatriation.

North Korean refugee groups in the South, however, vehemently point out that behind her death lie more fundamental problems such as the cold attitude and indifference as well as a lack of accommodative policy in South Korea for North Korean settlers, all of them acting as a trigger for her death.

[Excerpt of an article by Sunny Lee, The Asian Times]

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