North Korean fishermen 'killed 16 colleagues' before fleeing to South

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

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

SEOUL, South Korea-In an extremely unusual case, South Korea deported two North Korean fishermen on Thursday after finding they had killed 16 other crew members on their boat and then fled to South Korean waters, Seoul officials said.

Many defectors had served prison terms in the South for crimes they committed in the North, including murder and rape, and the two should have been prosecuted in South Korea if they were suspected of having committed a crime, Jung said.

The pair had been deported due to the they had been "atrocious criminals", Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min mentioned. According to the investigation, 19 people were present in the ship when it left the North's Kimchaek port on its east coast in August.

The three suspects initially returned to the North - but when one of them was captured by local police at a port, the other two chose to flee on their boat to the South.

Japan's export restrictions came in an apparent protest against the South Korean top court's rulings that ordered some of Japanese companies to pay reparation to the South Korean victims who were forced into hard labor without pay during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

"I am deeply troubled and deeply disturbed by this development".

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

"What's really, really troubling is that the South Korean authorities took only three days to issue these two men a death sentence", he said. South Korean media outlets also cited sources as saying this year's drill could be held under a different name similar to last December's exercise in which the two countries' air forces conducted the drill separately without the participation of US strategic assets, such as B-1B Lancer bombers.

South Korea has a policy of accepting North Koreans who want to resettle in the South to avoid political oppressions and economic poverty at home.

American lawyer Joshua Stanton said South Korea violated a United Nations convention banning the expulsion of people to a place where there are "substantial grounds" for believing they may face torture.

About 32,000 North Koreans acquire fled to the South since the slay of the Korean Battle, majority through China and in the previous Twenty years. The South Korean government needs to provide that and has to make that public. They were suspected of beating the 16 to death, officials said.

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.

The freakish incident tests South Korea's domestic and worldwide legal commitments.

North Korean defector recalls starvation before escaping to the U.S.

"It is a unsafe precedent for the same reason the people of Hong Kong saw the extradition of an accused murderer to China as a risky precedent", said Stanton. There is no extradition agreement between North and South. "Article III of that convention says you're not supposed to send people back to places that torture people", he said. "South Korea has now implicitly recognized that that is a legitimate justice system and it is not".

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