| by Kenneth Chase | 1 comment

N. Korean defector and her young son found dead in Seoul apartment

The government plans to find better ways to
help North Korean defectors settle in the South. The statement comes from a unification ministry
official, after a 42-year-old defector and her 6-year-old son were found dead in their
apartment in Seoul last month. Reportedly, the person in charge of helping
them was unable to contact them for sometime, after they moved into their apartment last
October. Police said there was no evidence of suicide
or homicide and that an investigation is underway to find the exact cause of their deaths.

1 Comment


Aug 8, 2019, 2:31 pm Reply

The bodies of a North Korean defector and her young son have been found in their apartment, Seoul police said Tuesday, with local media reporting they appeared to have died of starvation.
The mother, only identified by the surname Han, and her six-year-old son were found on July 31, about two months after their deaths, authorities said.
"We did not see any signs of murder or suicide," an officer at Seoul's Gwanak Police Station told AFP.
"We are waiting to get the autopsy results from the National Forensic Service."
Defectors in South Korea are eligible for subsidies from the authorities, but some struggle to integrate into the South's very different society.
Han, believed to be in her 40s, withdrew the 3,858 won (US$3.16) she had in her bank account two months ago, according to the South's Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.
Her monthly rent and gas bills were more than a year overdue, it reported, and there was no food in her fridge when the bodies were found.
The newspaper said she had defected to the South via China and Thailand in 2009, later marrying a Korean-Chinese man and moving to China. After a divorce she returned to Seoul last year with her son, but had difficulty finding work.
Police declined to confirm Dong-A Ilbo's report.
South Korea is Asia's fourth-biggest economy, but family deaths due to poverty and social isolation have been frequently reported in recent years.
Government data showed last year that North Korean defectors were three times more likely to commit than South Koreans to commit suicide, due to trauma, isolation and financial hardships.

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