SEOUL, July 11 (UPI) — A GAGGLE of North Korean restaurant staff went to South Korea towards their will in a scheme orchestrated through Seoul’s intelligence agency, an lawyer for the employees stated.
Thirteen body of workers participants of a North Korean restaurant within the Chinese Language city of Ningbo went to South Korea in April 2016. Their defection, then again, has met suspicions the commute may not were voluntary and concerned possible political maneuvering.
“the workers had been informed that the eating place may move to Malaysia and asked to pack their stuff. once they arrived in Malaysia, they found out that they have been headed to the South Korean Embassy,” Jang Kyung-uk, a prison representative of the former North Korean eating place staff, advised UPI.
The eating place supervisor duped the employees into making the journey and threatened to report them in the event that they attempt to go back to the North, Jang said.
Jang used to be at a meeting between three North Korean restaurant workers and U.N. Unique Rapporteur in North Korea Tomas Ojea Quintana on July FOUR in Seoul. Quintana visited Seoul to evaluate human rights scenarios in the North. He and seven different lawyers had been investigating the case for two years.
Jang stated the attorneys are entrusted by family members in the North to represent their daughters in the South.
within the interview with Quintana, the restaurant manager and employees gave an in depth account of ways they traveled to the South. They to start with idea they were at the move to another place of work, o Jang said.
After the interview, Quintana said a few of them seem to be “sufferers” of a rip-off.
“While I say sufferers, i’m implying that they had been topic to a couple kind of deceit in regard to the place they were going,” Quintana mentioned in Seoul on Tuesday.
Jang claimed the restaurant supervisor was once bribed and ordered through the South Korea’s National Intelligence Carrier underneath former President Park Geun-hye to arrange a defection plan. The commute used to be arranged in coordination with an intelligence officer and made 8 days sooner than a local parliamentary election.
Manager Heo Kang-il advised JTBC the intelligence company deliberate the commute for conservatives to “win the democratic celebration” in the election. South Korean media outlet JTBC ran interviews with Heo and female staff in May.
North Korea has also claimed the restaurant staff had been abducted and demanded the South Korean govt immediately go back them.
“Now the workers realize they were used for political purposes. they’re challenging a radical investigation and an apology from those involved within the scheme. they also wish to meet their oldsters as quickly as imaginable,” Jang stated.
Most of the restaurant staff are women in 20s.
Quintana additionally said Tuesday the South Korean government must behavior a “thorough and independent” investigation.
In response to Quintana’s remark, South Korea’s Unification Ministry mentioned the employees got here “voluntarily.”
“I keep in mind that the workers came to the South in their own unfastened will,” Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman of the Ministry of Unification, stated at an ordinary press briefing on Wednesday. “i have not anything extra so as to add to this.”
Greg Scarlatoiu, government director of Committee for Human Rights in North Korea in Washington, advised UPI on Tuesday Quintana’s review of the defections as a “roughly deceit” is the identical of a “senior U.N. legitimate attaining a verdict previous to any investigation.”
“I don’t agree with Mr. Quintana’s overview. Ready government in South Korea have already ruled this was once a defection. there’s little need for any more research,” Scarlatoiu stated.
Elizabeth Shim contributed to this report.