Two South Korean citizens who defected from North Korea were arrested by Chinese police while helping their families in North Korea to escape the isolated country, and may face immediate repatriation to North Korea, TV Chosun reported.
Seoul decided to seek a favorable arrangement with the Chinese government via the embassy in Beijing.
One of them, a 36-year-old woman identified by her surname Jang, escaped from North Korea three years ago and recently went to China to bring her family out of the North.
The other person being detained is also a North Korean defector who obtained South Korean citizenship less than a year ago and went to China in hopes of bringing her elderly mother from North Korea.
The two were arrested in Yanji on March 9 together with eight other North Koreans including their families. Five of them are reportedly children or teenagers.