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13 N. Koreans from overseas restaurant defect to S. Korea: Seoul

All Headlines 17:13 April 08, 2016

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- More than 10 North Koreans working at a restaurant in a foreign country have defected to South Korea this week, Seoul's unification ministry said Friday.

A group of 13 North Koreans -- one male manager and 12 female employees -- entered South Korea on Thursday, the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs said.

Overseas restaurants operated by North Korea are known to face difficulty in doing business following the U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) sanctions on Pyongyang.

Such restaurants have served as one of the main sources of hard currency for North Korea, which is suspected of bankrolling the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Last month, the UNSC imposed the toughest sanctions so far on North Korea for its January nuclear test and long-range rocket launch in February.

The move also came as South Korea has restricted its nationals from using North Korean restaurants in China and other nations to cut off the source of hard currency for North Korea.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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