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Nepal arrests 2 S. Koreans over missing NK national

Posted December. 11, 2010 13:17,   


Two South Koreans have been detained by Nepalese authorities in Kathmandu for eight days in connection with a missing North Korean, the Nepalese daily Republica said Friday.

The North Korean disappeared in Kathmandu several days before the detention of the two South Koreans and is said to be in exile in India. According to the daily, Nepalese police are investigating the two South Koreans for possible involvement.

Nepalese authorities are known, however, to have arrested the two in the wake of pressure from the North Korean ambassador, saying the missing North Korean was kidnapped. The South Koreans live in Nepal and are married to Nepalese women, with one of them said to have studied herbal medicine in Kathmandu for a long time.

Little is known of the missing man but the newspaper questioned how a North Korean who was neither a diplomat nor had a travel permit from Pyongyang could arrive in Nepal. He is known to have been in Kathmandu for more than a month and had contact with the South Koreans.

A Nepalese official said the North Korean could be a spy, adding he was already in New Delhi, India.

Seoul is taking diplomatic measures to get the two South Koreans released. An official at the South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said its embassy in Katmandu is seeking a consular interview with the two.

changkim@donga.com kyle@donga.com