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Family Uses Boat to Escape from North

Posted March. 20, 2006 03:34,   


Five North Koreans defected from North Korea and arrived on the East Sea coast of South Korea aboard a small wooden boat on March 18.

At about 11:30 p.m. on March 18, an army coastal sentry spotted five North Koreans aboard a small wooden boat who signaled their intention to defect. They were brought to shore near the Reunification Observatory in Songhyun-lee, Hyunnae-myun, Goseong-gun, Gangwon Province.

The five include a husband, whose first name is Lee (37), his wife, whose first name is Park (34), their two sons (ages two and eight), and a male, whose first name is Kim (26).

According government interrogators, the five set out from Tongcheon Port in Tongcheon-gun, North Korea at about 9:00 p.m. on March 17 on the excuse of going fishing. After resting in Youndaebong, Dupo-lee, Tongcheon until about 2:00 a.m. on March 18, they reached a South Korean coastal sentry post that afternoon.

A joint interrogation agency official said, “Lee learned how developed South Korea by listening to the radio when he served in the North Korean military. Since then, he has longed for South Korea and decided to defect last January.”

Chang-Soon Choi cschoi@donga.com