Colleagues, families of 13 reported “defectors” urge Seoul to return DPRK nationals

Families of 13 nationals of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have accused the South Korean government of abducting their loved ones, saying they are not defectors.

According to South Korean authorities, the incident occurred on April 8 when the 13 DPRK nationals, including 12 waitresses and one manager in an overseas restaurant, defected to South Korea.

Seven workers at the restaurant said the 12 waitresses were all tricked by their manager who had been bribed by South Korea officials.

They said the manager told the waitresses in March that they would open a new restaurant in Malaysia but turned out to send them to South Korea.

Meanwhile, the families of the waitresses said they were desperate to reunite with their children and urged the South Korean government to fulfill their request, otherwise, they warned it would pay a harsh price.

But the South Korean media reported that the 13 DPRK nationals chose to defect because they were pressured to turn in revenues to the DPRK government.

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