Thursday, March 03, 2011

Latest North Korean defectors

Four members of a group of 31 North Koreans who accidentally crossed over into South Korean waters on a fishing boat, have decided to defect to the South, despite Pyongyang's demands that they all be repatriated to the North, the South Korean Red Cross said.

The defection of the four North Koreans could spark tensions on the peninsula, where joint U.S.-South Korea military drills have kicked off this week. North Korea had threatened to engulf Seoul in a "sea of flames," a day before the opening of the exercise.

The South will return the remaining 27 members of the group through Panmunjom, a truce village on the ground border between the two sides, and send the fishing boat back through the waters in the West Sea on Friday, the Red Cross said.

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