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4-member N. Korean Family Defects on Boat

Posted January. 01, 2009 07:03,   


A North Korean family of four has defected to South Korea on a small boat via the Yellow Sea, the National Intelligence Service said yesterday.

The family aboard a two-ton wooden boat was spotted by the South Korean Navy in waters 13.4 kilometers west of Daeyeonpyeong Island, in Ongjin County, Incheon, around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The couple and their son and daughter-in-law reportedly departed the port of Haeju in the North Korean province of Hwanghae aboard the boat at 7 p.m. Tuesday and traveled three hours to reach South Korean waters.

The defectors expressed their intent to defect to South Korean naval officials when discovered. They are staying on Daeyeonpyeong Island after undergoing basic questioning.

Authorities said the family will be moved to a general investigation center in Gyeonggi Province before being admitted to Hanawon, a government-run training center for North Korean defectors.