Half a dozen fisherman were plucked from South Korea’s East Sea
Half a dozen fisherman were plucked from South Korea’s East Sea after straying into their waters in crippled boats.
By the time rescuers reached the group, one of the rickety vessels had already capsized.
One of the two boats carrying the six men was able to be fixed but the other was beyond repair.
The crew were interrogated by the South Korean authorities, who determined they were not spies.
But despite the neighbour of the Communist state accepting North Koreans who flee and seek asylum, providing they are not spies, a Unification Ministry official claimed the six men expressed their desire to return to the secretive state.
It is widely believed families of defectors are tortured or subjected to extreme interrogation over their missing relatives.
The official confirmed the men would be sent back – speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue – after deeming them to be healthy enough to survive the sea voyage.
As a last ditch attempt, Seoul has claimed it will make an announcement via loudspeakers
When Kim Jong-un issues an order no one can ignore it
But despite the men willingly offering to return and live under the brutal dictatorship, North Korea is seemingly refusing to accept them.
The Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korea relations, has repeatedly tried to contact the regime through military communication hotlines to no avail.
Their neighbours have also attempted to make contact via the truce village of Panmunjom to inform them of the impending repatriation, but they are yet to receive a response.