After returning to N. Korea, defector condemns S. Korea
By Kim Susan Se-jeong
A North Korean defector appeared at a press conference in the nation’s capital upon returning to Pyongyang to “denounce” the life defectors endure in the South.
“Pak Jong-suk, who went back into the arms of the Republic after being dragged to South Korea, held a press conference on the 28th for local and international reporters at the People’s Palace of Culture,” reported the North’s Korean Central News Agency.
“The jobs available to defectors are lowly, difficult jobs such as cleaning rubbish, washing dishes and serving,” said Pak about life in the South. “The suicide rate is five times higher than the average person.”
Pak claimed she was lured by South Korean agents to leave her home in Cheongjin, North Hamgyeong Province, under promises that she would be reunited with her father, who went south in the Korean War (1950-1953).
“Defectors curse South Korean society and resent themselves, hoping eagerly to return to the North,” said Pak, according to the North Korean news.
The Chosun Ilbo reported Saturday that North Korean intelligence authorities asked Pak to return to North Korea, threatening they would kill Pak’s son unless she did as she was told.
With the information and the video disclosed by North Korea, the Ministry of Unification was able to identify the woman as Park In-sook, who used to live in Songpa, Seoul.
"She was born as Pak Jong-suk, but used the name Park In-sook when she registered her ID in the North and she identified herself as Park In-sook upon entering South Korea," said the ministry about the two names.
At the press conference, Pak claimed she was 66 years old although she had identified her birth year as 1941 upon admittance to South Korea, which would make her 71.
It was found that Pak, who fled to China in March 2006, entered South Korea in June the same year and went back to China last month.
“Though we cannot disclose the exact numbers, it is very rare for defectors to return to the North,” said a Ministry official. Similarly, it is also rare for North Korea to disclose information about returning defectors through press conferences, especially ones attended by foreign media.