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N. Korea Detained 4 Other S. Koreans at Kaesong

Posted August. 26, 2009 08:21,   


North Korea since the opening of the Kaesong industrial complex in 2004 has detained and expelled four other South Korean workers for criticizing the communist regime and dating North Korean female workers.

Engineer Yu Seong-jin, 44, an employee of Hyundai Asan Corp., was released Aug. 13 after being held for 137 days on the charge of criticizing the North and dating a North Korean.

The Gaeseong Industrial Complex Management Council and Hyundai Asan said one man was detained in February last year for dating a North Korean worker and expelled after a week-long investigation.

Another worker was detained and deported after five days in November 2006. He allegedly threw away a cigarette butt, and when told to pick it up, he said, “I‘ll pick it up when the General (Kim Jong Il) orders me to do so.”

In March of that year, a man was kicked out in a week for saying Kim deserves criticism when at fault and another was deported in October 2005 for making fun of a North Korean female worker.

North Korea is said to have coerced confessions out of them and forced them to write apologies like they did with Yu. Pyongyang denied basic human rights such as not allowing contact with South Korean staff and demanded compensation for accommodation when they were kicked out.

In the October 2005 case, the North sought a public apology from the South or threatened to withdraw all North Korean workers and kick out the company from the complex.

In Seoul, the Unification Ministry in last year’s audit of the administration briefly mentioned one of the cases in a document on the incidents at the complex to the National Assembly, but unveiled nothing else.