Defectors choose suicide over arrest and repatriation
There have been several reported cases where North Koreans attempting to defect to China have committed suicide after being arrested by North Korean border guards and Chinese police.
A North Korean couple crossed the Tumen River in early July to join their daughter, who had defected to China three years earlier, but were arrested by Chinese police. The daughter’s mother committed suicide during detention, North Korean sources reported on August 13.
According to one source in North Hamgyong Province, the woman’s husband had no health issues and the Chinese police repatriated both the husband and his wife’s body back to North Korea a month after their arrest. The Ministry of State Security in North Hamgyong Province is reportedly confirming the identity of the man and investigating the circumstances surrounding the defection and the woman’s death.
“The couple was living in Chongjin City in North Hamgyong Province and was raising their son when their daughter defected. The son was killed in an accident in May and this led the woman to fall into deep depression. They went to China to find their daughter but the woman decided to end her life when they were arrested,” said a separate source based in North Hamgyong Province.
“The woman decided to commit suicide rather than face the inevitable investigation, beatings and prison term,” he continued, expressing sadness over the last desperate act of the victim.......