May 19, 2024

Refugee in Laos awaits chance to reach S. Korea

Defector doesn't discourage visiting the North, even if it makes money for regime

In the last 13 months Laos has twice made the news over its handling of North Korean defectors.

The first case, in October of last year, was heartbreaking: Nine defectors between the ages of 15 and 23, having spent four years in China and Laos awaiting their opportunity to reach South Korea, were sent back to the North. The young would-be defectors appeared on North Korean state television, which said they had been “tricked” into leaving the country, but their fate since their forced repatriation is unknown.

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