News / Asia

N. Korea Accuses South of 'Kidnapping' 9 Youths

An unidentified North Korean defector holds a picture of nine apparent North Korean defectors who were flown home as she cries during a rally protesting against Laos' repatriation of them, in Seoul, South Korea, June 5, 2013.
An unidentified North Korean defector holds a picture of nine apparent North Korean defectors who were flown home as she cries during a rally protesting against Laos' repatriation of them, in Seoul, South Korea, June 5, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
North Korea has accused the South of trying to kidnap nine North Korean youths who were detained in Laos last month before being repatriated to their homeland.

In a statement carried by the North's official news agency on Wednesday, a North Korean Red Cross official said South Korean agents tricked the North Koreans into leaving the country.

The official said the South Koreans beat and brainwashed the youths, forcing them to read Christian literature while transporting them through China to Laos. The North Korean statement accused Seoul of carrying out an unprecedented crime.

Laotian authorities detained the nine North Koreans on May 10 for alleged illegal entry into Laos. They also detained two South Koreans accompanying the youths on suspicion of illegal human trafficking.

Seoul denied the trafficking charge and said the two South Koreans were trying to help the youths defect to South Korea through Laos. The South Korean government also accused North Korea of sending agents to Laos to force the nine North Koreans to return home through China.

The Chinese government said the youths entered China from Laos with valid documents on May 27 and returned to North Korea a day later, suggesting their passage through Chinese territory was voluntary.

The U.N. rights agency expressed concern about the fate of the nine North Koreans on Friday, saying their return to North Korea puts them at risk of severe punishment for attempting to defect. It criticized both Laos and China for allowing the youths to be repatriated.

South Korean rights activist Ahn Kyung-su told the Associated Press that he met the North Koreans in April while they were being sheltered by a South Korean missionary in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, near the North Korean border.

Ahn said the youths appeared to be orphans who were scavenging for food along the border when the missionary offered them shelter in China.

At least 20,000 North Koreans have defected to the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Many of them escaped the North with the help of South Korean rights groups, secretly entering neighboring China before traveling to Southeast Asian nations to seek permanent resettlement in South Korea. North Korean defectors caught by Chinese authorities frequently have been sent home under an agreement between the two allies.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Steve from: Michigan
June 06, 2013 5:34 AM
Why does N. Korea always never see the truth when they have a black-eye in world views of themselves. China doesn't have honor either. If the nine orphans had papers sent from Laos to China, why did they have to sneak to Laos if they had paper to enter China from N. Korea going to Laos? These are all lies and there no more honor by the Chinese and there has never been any honor from the North. Do what you will but we know that all will do nothing but get those nine orphans terribly brutalized. N.K. agents were sent with papers and the Chinese allowed the transport through China when there's no flight to Pyongyang from Laos.

It's not hard to figure out and China is warning the U.N. of making unprecedented comments. Both nations are sick thinking and if I was the free world, I would put sanctions on China too. The Chinese likes the North between them and S. Korea because of economic stale-mate. The world is going mad and we as a nation needs to quit helping them all. The U.S. should stay out of the world business of nations because the world is fighting all over the place. I just ry to live a quiet life and that's it. People and their religion are sick and if that's what they want, let them have it and stay out of the U.S. with your religious BS. Stay out of this country or I will hunt you down if you start your homeland problems here. Psycho's go home!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid