Unif. Minister: 2019 Deportation of N. Korean Fishermen Clearly a Wrong Decision
Unification minister Kwon Young-se reiterated on Monday that the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fishermen was clearly the wrong decision.
In a policy briefing to a parliamentary committee, Kwon said the North Koreans should have been accepted given that they had crossed into South Korean territory and faced known consequences should they be sent back.
The minister said the decision on whether to accept or send back North Koreans who enter the South's territory depends on their free will, noting the 2019 deportation was against their will.
The ministry said a joint probe led by the National Intelligence Service at the time came to the decision to force back the fishermen following a three day investigation.
To prevent similar occurrences, Kwon promised to revamp laws and regulations to better manage and protect North Korean defectors.
The ministry also stressed that the truth behind the 2020 death of a South Korean fisheries official shot dead by North Korean troops in the West Sea must also come to light and preventative measures drafted.
[Photo : YONHAP News]