North Korea massacre: Fishermen kill 16 crewmates before fleeing Kim’s hermit kingdom

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang.  Image BRJ Inc. Creative Commons Flickr

The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang. Image BRJ Inc. Creative Commons Flickr

"The young men told investigators they chose to kill the other 15 crewmembers as well because they feared they would be punished for the murder if any witnesses were left alive", reported South Korea's Chosun Ilbo.

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Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said South Korea made a decision to expel the two fishermen to North Korea because they were "heinous criminals" who could not be recognized as refugees under global laws.

The unification ministry in Seoul told the BBC that "when we couldn't trust their intention of defection" so they decided not to allow the "serious criminals" to stay.

South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo answers a lawmaker's question about North Koreans' deportation during a defense committee meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, on November 7, 2019.

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Observers whisper the males are inclined to receive heavy punishment in North Korea - at the side of probably execution.

They initially returned to the north, however fled after a 3rd man concerned within the killing spree was captured, the officers stated.

It is the South's first deportation of North Koreans through Panmunjom.

Lee said South Korea expelled the men to North Korea via an inter-Korean border village on Thursday.

Defectors are usually interrogated by South Korean intelligence authorities, and spend time in a government-run facility for re-education, before being released into society.

They also says the bodies of the victims were not left in the ship. But the third fishermen were arrested near the port while the other two managed to escape using the same boat. "Even though the facts that constitute the crime are obvious, South Korea should have subjected them to judicial proceedings in South Korea". In 2018, 1,137 North Koreans entered South Korea.

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