Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nine North Korean Defectors Brave Sea Passage to Seoul

Nine North Koreans defected to South Korea on Saturday by crossing the disputed maritime border.

A government source said a 50-year-old man, his 42-year-old brother and their family members boarded an engineless boat and crossed the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, at around 6 a.m. on Saturday. The group, which consisted of three men, two women and for children, waved to onlookers and expressed their desire to defect when they drifted into the waters off the west coast and were spotted by the South Korean military. "All of them have expressed their intention to defect to the South," the source added.

The group left Haeju, Hwanghae Province on Friday night after having planned their escape for some time and preparing a boat for their escape, the source said. The fact that the defectors were all part of a large family enabled them to maintain the level of secrecy needed for such an operation.

The source added that the group sought out chances to escape as they fished off the coast of Haeju on Wednesday of last week. They decided to defect in order to escape the harsh economic conditions in the North.

No comments: