News / Asia

North Koreans Rescued by S. Korean Navy Seek Asylum

North Korea map
North Korea map
Two North Koreans have expressed their intention to seek asylum in South Korea after being rescued at sea by a southern naval patrol ship.

The two were among the three North Koreans who were rescued last Saturday while drifting off the South’s eastern coast. It is not clear why their boat had lost power.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said Monday that Seoul has accepted the asylum requests of the two who have decided to stay. It has also decided to allow the repatriation of the remaining one person through the truce village of Panmunjom.

The South Korean Red Cross sent a telegram to the North informing it of the decision.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has sent a telegram demanding Seoul return all three of its citizens immediately.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Valeriu from: California
June 04, 2014 3:50 PM
To meanbill. I fit your description but would have happened anyway. I did visit my friends back home. One is a religious fanatic and 100% hypocrite, I don't miss him, the other is in Finland, third one ripped me off. So I am here in a country of no friends with my wife, friend of over 40 years, fighting, beaching and making peace. Crazy, under the impression that I didn't change, only they did. I just screwed my life for the idea of freedom I didn't find nor I now what to do with.

by: Al Borgmann from: US
June 04, 2014 12:19 PM
Really? During the 53-55 war Communist red Cadre were given orders to surrender and revive all Korean,KMT Veterans, and Volunteers. The POWs were held captive on islands below Korea The captured the Prison General A medical draft was then held in the US to develope chemical and biological weapons to drop on China using 8 NAZI scientists and Japanese from a special unit They then provided meth and LSD to all the hippies and Republicans The North Koreans will defect whenever possible to discredit the South.

by: Joe Blow from: Texas
June 03, 2014 12:48 PM
North Korea will be need a new telegram delivery man soon.

by: Zhang from: Home
June 03, 2014 3:08 AM
USA must strike North Korea dog down as soon as possible
In Response

by: Tom Murphy from: West Virginia
June 04, 2014 9:11 AM
I guess that massive UN General Assembly vote against Russia escaped your notice. Every free nation recognizes the threats to freedom from dictatorial nations. We now see that two out of three North Koreans prefer to live in freedom in South Korea, in spite of Kim Jong Un's offer to keep them in the biggest concentration camps in the world.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 03, 2014 1:56 PM
CRAZY isn't it? -- The US is the only country in the world, that see's threats, (real and imagined), everywhere in the world, like North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and all the other countries we're spying on? --- NOW that's crazy isn't it?

by: Valeriu from: California
June 03, 2014 2:28 AM
The third one will regret for the rest of his life the decision to return, no matter what his reason is. Not knowing what you missed is the killer.
In Response

by: Jen Cleveland
June 03, 2014 1:54 PM
The third one will be heavily interrogated and probably shipped to a camp if his answers don't satisfy them...along with every generation of his family. Even if he didn't return his family is still facing a death sentence.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 03, 2014 9:08 AM
HOME is where you put your hat down at night, and it may not look as good as yours, and you may not like how poor you are -- (BUT?) -- it's home, with your family and friends... WHEN you get older, you'll find out. all the wealth and possessions you possess mean nothing, in comparison to having friends and relatives present.. -- You can live in a dirt house and be happier, than another person living in a mansion with no family or friends.. -- CRAZY isn't it? -- those two guys might wish, that they'd gone back home......
In Response

by: John from: Montana
June 03, 2014 5:35 AM
or.. he might be worried about what the north will do to his family. they will arrest his whole family up to his grand parents if they are alive and his children if he has any.

by: teacher from: usa
June 03, 2014 1:18 AM
Watch them. They may be two secret agents planted.

by: Johnny Woods
June 02, 2014 10:23 PM
The north wants the south to return people who are not owned by anyone. I mean are these people slaves or something. Do they not have individual rights to be wherever the hell they want to be? Does the north own them like cattle or something? I think not.
In Response

by: giger from: near Miami
June 03, 2014 10:28 PM
Absolutely cattle! Even Pilots , if intercepted ,just wait until our pentagon released details about party-crashers in mil. exercise Singapore respectively the Ramp - up to the MH370 collision.
In Response

by: Eric from: USA
June 03, 2014 5:25 PM
Basically, they do own their citizens. They have absolutely no rights or freedoms. If one person in a family is accused of a crime (such as watching a foreign DVD), three generations are sent to labor camps (concentration camps). This places a great burden on anyone trying to flee as their family will suffer the consequences. It's hard to image here in the west. While we complain about our personal liberties and freedoms, we take for granted the freedoms we have. The fact that we can come on these boards and bash our leaders sets us light years apart from NK, the most repressive country on earth.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 02, 2014 7:37 PM
They sought asylum in South Korea to learn the "gangnam style dance" -- that'll get you arrested in North Korea?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs