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Man found guilty of visiting N. Korea, murdering wife

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Published : 2014-01-13 19:53
Updated : 2014-01-13 19:53

A South Korean man was found guilty of violating the National Security Act as well as murdering his wife, court officials in Seoul said Sunday.

Authorities at the Seoul Central District Court said the 65-year-old man, identified only by his surname Lee, and his wife crossed the Yalu River ― which forms part of the border between China and North Korea ― in May 2011 into North Korea. The two spent time at an unidentified port of entry with North Korean officials, studying books that glorified North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il.

Lee became disgruntled with his life in the North and asked to be sent to a third country. North Korean officials denied the request. In October 2011 Lee murdered his wife, whom he suspected of having an extramarital affair with a North Korean security official.

North Korea sent Lee back to the South in October 2013 with the body of his wife through the Joint Security Area in Panmunjeom. Seoul authorities arrested him on the spot on charges of violating the National Security Act, which forbids South Koreans from visiting the North without official government permission.

Lee is believed to have been economically distressed while living in the South, and had attempted to enter the communist state as early as 2006.

By Jeong Hunny
(hj257@heraldcorp.com)

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