By Helene Fung
For the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953, South Korea has deported two North Korean fishermen in their 20s, after an investigation found that they killed 16 others on board, including the captain of their boat.
South Korea normally has a policy of accepting North Koreans who seek asylum in the South to flee political oppression economic poverty.
However in this instance, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesperson Lee Sang-min said they decided to deport the two men over land because they were “heinous criminals”, and would not be recognized as refugees under international law
According to the South Korean Investigation, there were 19 people on board the fishing boat when it departed Kimchaek port in North Korea back in August.
The two men claimed the captain abused them, so they collaborated with another crew member to kill to captain.
They then killed 15 others on board to cover up their crime. When their collaborator was arrested near Kimchaek, these two men fled North Korea using the same boat.