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Gov't releases photos of 2019 repatriation of N. Korean fishermen

All News 21:21 July 12, 2022

By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry on Tuesday publicly released rare photos showing the controversial repatriation of two North Korean fishermen in 2019.

The ten photos revealed by the ministry showed the two fishermen refusing to cross the Military Demarcation Line at the truce village of Panmunjom, as they were taken to be handed over to North Korean authorities.

This photo, provided by the Ministry of Unification on July 12, 2022, shows a North Korean fishermen, who was captured near the eastern inter-Korean sea border, resisting as he is handed over to North Korean authorities in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in November 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

One of them apparently dragged his feet and then flopped down on the ground, being forced to approach the MDL.

On Nov. 7, 2019, South Korea sent back the two North Koreans captured a week earlier near the eastern inter-Korean sea border. They confessed to killing 16 fellow crew members and reportedly expressed a desire to defect to the South. But then liberal Moon Jae-in administration repatriated them to the North, where they must have faced harsh punishment.

Those critical of the Moon government have accused it of hastily repatriating them in a bid to curry favor with the Kim Jong-un regime,

Last week, South Korea's state intelligence agency under the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration requested a formal investigation by the prosecution service into the allegation that its former chief Suh Hoon ordered the early end to an internal probe into the case.

This photo, provided by the Ministry of Unification on July 12, 2022, shows a North Korean fishermen who was captured near the eastern inter-Korean sea border, resisting as South Korean authorities repatriate him back to the North in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in November 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by the Ministry of Unification on July 12, 2022, shows a North Korean fishermen collapsing before South Korean authorities hand him over to North Korean authorities in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in November 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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