South Koreans have occasionally defected to North Korea in the past, but it's become a rarity in recent years - especially since the North suffered a crippling starvation in the mid-1990s that was estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people. He once headed the Chodo church in South Korea.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. If confirmed, it would be an unusual case of a South Korean defecting to the impoverished, authoritarian North.
Choe In-guk, thought to be 72, was filmed arriving in Pyongyang on Saturday where he pledged to dedicate the rest of his life to reunifying Korea under Kim's leadership.
The website published images and footage showing Choe in a beret reading a statement upon his arrival at Pyongyang's global airport.
South Koreans have occasionally defected to North Korea, but it has become a rarity in recent years, particularly since the North Korean starvation in the mid-1990s, which is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.
While defections to the North have become a rarity in recent years, defections to the South are more common.
The son of the highest-profile South Korean to defect to North Korea has arrived in Pyongyang to settle permanently, state media have said.
Upon arriving at a Pyongyang airport, Choe said he will devote his life to helping achieve the feat of national unification in accordance with the desire of his late parents.Читайте также: British Royal Marines Seize Tanker Allegedly Carrying Iranian Oil to Syria
"The great love and care that the great Kim Il Sung, General Kim Jong Il, and President Kim Jong Un gave to my family started from my grandfather and has been continuing for three generations until today", he said, according to Uriminzokkiri. The two countries are technically still at war and South Koreans need permission to visit the North. Because neither country signed a formal peace treaty at the end of it, the two countries are techically still at war.
It was not immediately known how he went to North Korea, but South Korean media speculated he flew from Beijing with a North Korean government-issued visa.
Abe was referring to the decision by Seoul's Supreme Court past year ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Koreans forced into hard labor during wartime. against which Tokyo has strongly protested.
Oliver Hotham, the managing editor of the Seoul-based NK News website, told the BBC: "It's not yet clear how exactly his defection came about". "But it would be fairly simple for a South Korean to get to the North if they had the regime's blessing by travelling through China".
Seoul's foreign ministry is dismissing claims by a high-ranking Japanese official that certain materials exported to South Korea may have gone to North Korea. He reportedly did not seek government approval for his trip to North Korea.
The couple took up political roles after defecting to the North.
In North Korea, he was made vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which deals with relations with South Korea.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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