January 29, 2023

Unification ministry seeks power to investigate North Korean defectors

Proposal follows uproar over Moon administration’s past repatriation of two DPRK fishermen accused of killing crewmates

Seoul has proposed changing a law on North Korean defectors to require the unification ministry to investigate refugees suspected of having committed “severe crimes,” after the forced repatriation of two DPRK fishermen in 2019 became a major controversy this year.

The proposed amendment to the North Korean Refugees Protection and Settlement Support Act aims to “strengthen the protection and settlement support of North Korean defectors,” the unification ministry wrote in a notice Wednesday.