Posted January. 06, 2010 02:58,
Photos have been released for the first time of North Korean defectors reportedly arrested by Chinese authorities and who had their personal profiles prepared before their repatriation.
Choi Sung-yong, head of an association representing the families of South Koreans kidnapped by the North, said yesterday, These photos are of North Korean defectors arrested and detained by Chinese authorities. They were taken at a detention center on the North Korean border before the defectors were repatriated.
The defectors are seen holding up signs with their names, dates of birth, and five-digit numbers believed to their detainee numbers, looking gloomy before going on a scale to measure height.
Choi said among the defectors in the photos are his cousin Choi Yeong-ae, 24, and Yoon Eun-shil, 24, both of whom were arrested while hiding in China.
Choi Yeong-ae was caught by Chinese authorities Dec. 5, 2008, after fleeing the North with the granddaughter of a South Korean prisoner of war. She was sent back to the North a week later.
Experts say the photos could be evidence showing that a North Korea-China border agreement secretly concluded in 1998 is being implemented. The agreement requires Beijing to transfer photos and personal profiles of North Korean defectors upon their arrest.