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Seoul 'confirms' woman interviewed by N. Korean media is former defector

Seoul 'confirms' woman interviewed by N. Korean media is former defector

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Published : 2013-12-21 17:02
Updated : 2013-12-21 17:02

  Seoul has confirmed Saturday the veracity of a recent North Korean media report about a redefector who expressed contempt for her life in South Korea.

   The unification ministry, in charge of handling inter-Korean policies, said that judging by her name, age and other personal information provided by Pyongyang, Choi Kye-soon indeed had lived in the South for about two years as she said in the broadcast.

   Immigration records show the 64-year-old Choi as having had arrived in South Korea in December 2011 and having left early this month, the ministry said.

   It said she had lived alone and that she had no relatives in the South.

   The confirmation comes after Friday's North Korean state media reports that featured Choi. In a media interview, she lambasted South Korean society, which she said had made her life miserable.

   She claimed traffickers kidnapped her when she was in China visiting her sister and that she was subsequently sent to South Korea.

   In the interview carried by both the Korean Central Television and Korean Central News Agency, the defector also claimed that the minute she stepped foot in the South, people there treated her as "subhuman." She then claimed that Seoul carried out criminal activities like kidnapping and violating basic human rights.

   The North has been using such people as propaganda tools to highlight "hardships" that await defectors while trumping up the superiority of Pyongyang's "humane" socialist system. This move is apparently aimed at fueling anti-South Korean sentiment and dissuading the public from leaving the communist country.

   This interview of a former defector by Pyongyang's media is the fifth of its kind this year.

   Seoul has come under criticism for not adequately looking after defectors in a proper manner. Many former North Koreans have grown disenchanted with their lives in the South and have demanded more action be taken by Seoul. (Yonhap News)

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