North refuses fax asking for detainee’s ID

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North refuses fax asking for detainee’s ID

North Korea did not accept the faxed message from Seoul demanding to check the identification of the South Korean citizen allegedly detained by the regime.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said yesterday that they sent the fax on Monday in the name of the head of the South Korean Red Cross through military hot lines at the border village of Panmunjom.

However, Pyongyang refused to receive the message.

According to the ministry, the official liaison from North Korea at Panmunjom told his Southern counterpart that “there was no order from my superiors to receive this message.”

The liaison from South Korea attempted to send it again yesterday, but the Northern official again refused.

On Nov. 7, North Korea’s official media outlet reported that the regime arrested “a South Korean spy” who allegedly entered the North illegally for the purpose of espionage.

The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s top spy agency, told the Unification Ministry that the allegation was “groundless.”

However, the ministry said there is a possibility that an ordinary South Korean civilian could be held by the regime and called on the North requesting verification of his or her identity.

BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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