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Gov't to review whether to request repatriation of defector accused of sexual assault

All News 11:46 July 29, 2020

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry said Wednesday it will mull whether or not to request the repatriation of a North Korean defector who is presumed to have swum back to the North after facing rape accusations in the South.

The 24-year-old former North Korean defector, known by his family name, Kim, was facing arrest on a court-issued warrant on charges of raping a female acquaintance last month, according to police. His return became known after the North said a runaway came back home with coronavirus symptoms.

"As the relevant institutions are currently carrying out detailed investigations, we will decide after comprehensive review of the results of the examination, inter-Korean relations and previous measures," Yoh Sang-key, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

Some critics have called on the government to demand Kim's repatriation, citing last year's deportation of two North Korean fishermen to the communist nation.

In November, the two North Koreans were caught near the eastern inter-Korean sea border, but the South sent them back to the North over allegations they fled after killing fellow crew members while in the North.

The North Koreans expressed a desire to defect, but the South dismissed their intentions as insincere, saying that they could be a potential threat to the lives and safety of its citizens.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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