N.Korea Accuses Seoul of Abducting Defectors

      April 13, 2016 09:32

      North Korea on Tuesday made its first comments on the defection of 13 North Korean restaurant workers from China by claiming Seoul "lured and abducted" them.

      The North Korean Red Cross, which is in reality an organ of the state, said Tuesday, "We sternly denounce the group abduction of [North Koreans]... as a hideous crime against its dignity and social system."

      North Koreans who recently defected to Korea pose for a photo while working in a restaurant in China. /Yonhap

      The North vowed to retaliate. "In case the puppet group does not send them back, it will have to pay a high price for the serious consequences to be entailed by its action," the Red Cross said.

      North Korea added it is investigating how the South "dragged" its people to Seoul but also criticized Beijing.

      Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee told reporters that the defections were "completely voluntary" and said the North's accusations deserve no response.

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