Seven former North Korean waitresses told foreign media that their 12 colleagues who defected to South Korea about two weeks ago were tricked by their manager and “abducted” by the South Korean government.
Pyongyang, a few days before the interview was held, published articles claiming the mass-defection case was South Korea’s “terror attack” on North Koreans by abducting and taking them to Seoul against their will.
“In mid-March our restaurant manager gathered us together and told us that our restaurant would be moved to somewhere in Southeast Asia,” former head waitress Choe Hye Yong told CNN‘s Will Ripley.
Once the restaurant manager revealed that their actual destination would be South Korea, Choe said that she only had little time to “warn” some of the other waitresses.
Contrary to Seoul’s point of view on the “mass-defection” case, which the government said was a case of “defectors voluntarily decid(ing) to leave,” Pyongyang called the case a “mass-abduction” coordinated by Seoul government.
“It was carefully coordinated terror attack,” DPRK Today wrote on Sunday.
Seven colleagues of the defectors said that their restaurant manager and South Korean businessmen set up the departure to South Korea under the direction of Seoul, but the interview did not revealed the details of the motives behind claimed “abduction.”
North Korean state media have claimed money was the main motive behind the manager’s decision to coordinate the “mass-abduction” of 12 other waitresses, however.
“Our authorities have enough data and evidence to prove (the case as mass-abduction),” state-run propaganda Uriminzokkiri wrote on Thursday.
“The manager Hu was under huge amount of debt … so the bastard South Korean intelligence took advantage of it … to plot and carry out the mass abduction of our waitresses,” it wrote.
The media said the South Korean intelligence promised to pay for the manager’s debt of around 1.5 million Chinese yuan (around 230,000 U.S. dollars) and promised even greater “wealth and honor” if he manages to come to Seoul with other waitresses working in his restaurant.
The South Korean Ministry of Unification (MoU) firmly denied North Korea’s claim.
“All 13 defectors left North Korea on their free will. North Korea’s claim on abduction is nothing close to the truth, and is not even worth the discussion,” an official from MoU’s press office told NK News.
Featured image: MoU
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