Former Unification Minister Kim Yeon-cheol (photo), who was charged for forcefully returning North Korean fishermen who defected to the South, is expected to return to Korea this week.
According to sources from the legal and ministry community on Tuesday, former Unification Minister Kim is planning to return to Korea after visiting his children studying in the U.S. The Public Investigation Department 3 of the Seoul Prosecution Office is planning to summon Kim in early August to investigate the background in which Kim had announced that the "North Korean defectors' will to defect to South Korea did not appear to be sincere."
Former National Intelligence Service head Seo Hoon, who was also charged on account of early termination of the joint media investigation prior to the return, has also said that he would return at the request of the Prosecution Service. "Seo, who is currently residing in the U.S. as research professor, has said that he will return to Korea at any time if necessary," said sources close to Seo.
Unification Minister Kwon Yeong-se said in a CBS radio interview that the United Nations Command had approved of the Panmunjeom transfer not knowing that the return was forced. "The UN had not been aware of the forced return and must have been taken by the sight of the fishermen who were tied and blindfolded. The ties and blindfolds were immediately removed at the request of the UN, and the UN had made a strong protest to the Unification Ministry afterwards, which made things awkward for a while," he said.
The Public Investigation Department o1 of the Seoul Prosecution Office, which is investigating the shooting behind the death of a civil official in the West Sea, summoned Marine Police A around 9 a.m. on Tuesday. The Public Prosecution has reportedly inquired on how the investigation results and briefing memos announced by Incheon Coast Guard Chief Shin Dong-sam on Sept. 24, 2020 had been drafted.
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