December 14, 2010 12:01
A North Korean who went missing in Nepal recently had been the manager of a North Korean restaurant there, it emerged on Monday.
A diplomatic source said the man, identified as Yang, managed the Kathmandu branch of the Pyongyang Okryugwan restaurant chain and had been there for about a year. It seems he defected and is believed to be in New Delhi, India now.
Overseas branches of Okryugwan are a main source of hard currency for North Korea, and the regime carefully selects managers. The North is apparently very sensitive about Yang's defection, according to South Korean intelligence, because he made off with a stash of dollars that were supposed to be sent to the North.
The North Korean Embassy has asked the Nepali authorities to investigate two South Koreans identified as Choi and Sun who it says had friendly ties with Yang and kidnapped him. Choi and Sun have been arrested, and South Korean Embassy officials are negotiating for their release.
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