Daughter of Top N.Korean Actress Among Defectors

      May 30, 2016 12:52

      The daughter of decorated North Korean actress Choe Sam-suk is among 13 North Korean restaurant workers who recently defected from China, Radio Free Asia reported Saturday.

      The revelation came after the parents of the defectors in a statement demanded their "rescue," apparently under pressure from the North Korean regime.

      North Korean actress Choe Sam-suk performs in this undated screen grab from the official [North] Korean Central News Agency.

      The North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri on May 25 said the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland has written to the leftwing South Korean group Lawyers for a Democratic Society seeking its help in "rescuing" the 13, who fled a North Korean restaurant in China.

      Among the parents was Choe, whose daughter Ri Eun-kyong is believed to be among the defectors.

      Born in Kaesong in 1951, Choe joined a music troupe in Pyongyang as a singer. She was honored by former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 1971 and given the lead role in the revolutionary opera "The Flower Girl."

      She has sung around 3,000 songs and appeared regularly in films.

      One high-ranking North Korean defector told RFA, "Choe was one of North Korea's top actresses during the 1970s and 80s. News of her daughter's defection will have a huge impact on North Koreans."

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