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JH Ahn was an NK News contributor based in Seoul. He previously worked as an interpreter for United States Forces Korea.
North Korea claimed that their female “abductees” in South Korea are going on hunger strikes and are demanding an immediate return to North Korea.
Unless South Korea returns the 12 female North Korean restaurant workers, North Korea warned that a “ruthless response” will follow.
“If the puppet state (South Korea) keeps on ignoring our warning and acts in defiance, we will begin our ruthless response against the warmongers of the Blue House and South Korean intelligence for fabricating this (mass-defection) case,” Pyongyang said on Thursday.
Since the mass-defection incident of North Korean restaurant workers to South Korea in the first week of April, North Korean authorities have been calling the incident an “abduction” organized by South Korean intelligence. South Korea has firmly denied such claims, urging the North to stop distorting the event.
“The North Korean announcement distorted the recent mass-defection case as an ‘abduction’ carried out by the South,” South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (MoU) spokesperson Jung Joon-hee said Friday.
“We strongly condemn Pyongyang’s distortion of the mass-defection case, repeatedly made false claims and threats against Seoul.”
The spokesperson emphasized that all of the defectors came to South Korea of their free will, and said there is no “hunger strike.”
It is South Korean custom to send all recently arrived defectors to Hanawon, the South Korean government institute that provides help for every defector on how to adapt to South Korean society.
As the instituted remains hidden from the public eye, there would be practically no possible way for North Korea to know the current state of the defectors.
Nonetheless, Pyongyang claimed that its “citizens” are protesting against South Korean authorities in defiance to their “abduction”.
“South Koreans’ are locking each of our citizens into solitary cells, forcing them with their threats, lies and deception to ‘defect’ to the South,” Pyongyang’s statement read.
“All made up,” the South Korean National Intelligence Service’s public relations office told NK News in response to North Korean government’s claims.
Featured image: KCTV