Defectors in Daegu fled back to North Korea

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Defectors in Daegu fled back to North Korea

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Seoul yesterday verified a North Korean media report that a couple who defected from the communist country and settled down in the South has returned to their home country.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said a day earlier that the couple, Kim Kwang-hyok and his wife Ko Jong-nam, returned to North Korea on Sept. 12 after being “lured” to defect to South Korea in 2008.

Given the video clip of a news conference featuring the couple, a Seoul government official said they seem to be genuine defectors to the South.

According to Seoul, Kim entered the South in May 2008 while Ko came here in January 2009. They met in South Korea and married in July 2009.

Kim’s mother and younger brother, both defectors from the North, are believed to be living in Daegu, a southern South Korean city in the Gyeongsang region.

The government said they are investigating the motive for the couple’s return to the North.

It was the third time this year that North Korea has reported a story of defectors who fled to South Korea but returned home later.

Pyongyang has publicized the returns, saying life in the South is bitter and uncomfortable.

Yonhap

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