The man returned to the DPRK, perhaps because of his financial situation

“I’d say he fell into the lower class, barely making a living,” an unnamed South Korean military official said of the refugee.

At the same time, South Korean officials said they had no reason to believe that the DPRK man was a spy in the service of his homeland. They now address the question of how he managed to overcome the barbed wire fence and landmines along the border, which is constantly guarded by soldiers.

The North Korean decision to return to the homeland raised questions about how the DPRK refugees in the richer south are doing. About 56 percent of them have low incomes and 25 percent fall into the lowest income category and are entitled to basic needs benefits, according to the South Korean Ministry of Unification.

The man is one of about 30 people who have fled from north to south in the past decade and then returned, The Guardian warns. According to the AP, about 34,000 North Koreans have moved to South Korea since the late 1990s to avoid poverty or political oppression in their homeland. The vast majority of them reached South Korea via China or the countries of Southeast Asia; cases of escape through the demilitarized zone separating the two Korean states are rare.

Source: EuroZprá by

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