A North Korean refugee, detained in an immigration camp in Laos, died this week.
The woman, identified by Yonhap news agency as Kim Kyung-Hee, 27, was pronounced dead due to 'excessive entero-haemorrhage' during medical treatment. A South Korean missionary activist, Pastor Kim Hee-Tae, said that Ms Kim, who feared deportation, died suddenly while coughing up blood.
Two other defectors are in a stable condition in hospital. They had attempted suicide by swallowing pieces of iron rather than be sent back, said the pastor, who helps North Korean refugees in the region.
The pastor told Yonhap the three had defected together through China. They travelled to South-east Asia in hopes of seeking asylum in South Korea but were captured near the Laotian border.
Authorities told them they should pay US$2,500 in fines or face deportation.
[The Straits Times]