January 26, 2023 12:57
Nine North Korean laborers in Russia fled their work site and reached South Korea last year.
They reportedly told questioners here that they were afraid to be sent to fight in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Kang Dong-wan at Donga University told the Chosun Ilbo on Wednesday that the nine included two active-duty soldiers and arrived in South Korea from Russia in December.
They are all men in their 20s through 50s. The North Korean regime sends soldiers to overseas work sites alongside the laborers to keep them in check and extort their salaries. The nine are now staying at Hanawon, a halfway house that helps defectors to settle in South Korea.
Late last year, Radio Free Asia reported that North Korean workers in Russia were trying to flee for fear that they could be forcibly sent to Russian-occupied east Ukraine.
"The North Korean workers who fled to South Korea recently became disillusioned with their reclusive country thanks to information about South Korea and the outside world that they found on the Internet," Kang said.
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