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Defector caught trying to cross back into N. Korea

North Korea 11:12 September 20, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's police said Sunday that they have taken into custody a North Korean defector for attempting to cross into his homeland through a military unit in an eastern border town.

The man in his 30s was caught entering a military unit in Chorwon, Gangwon Province, at around 9 a.m. on Thursday in an attempt to cross into the North. He was found to have four mobile phones and a cutting machine when he was caught.

Police said that the man defected to the South in 2018 and has stayed in Seoul, though they did not provide more details on his identity.

Investigation is under way to determine why and how he was trying to return to the North. It is against the national security law to enter the North without state approval.

Defectors returning to North Korea have drawn media attention after Pyongyang recently claimed that a defector suspected of having coronavirus symptoms crossed the inter-Korean border and returned to his hometown.

The unification ministry handling inter-Korean affairs earlier said that a total of 11 North Korean defectors have returned to their communist homeland over the past five years.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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