North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

And then there were four

In the week following KJI’s birthday, things were looking lively in the DPRK neighborhood.  US Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth has been puddle jumping between Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, with different interpretations as to whether the Six Party Talks will resume in the near future.  It was learned that a DPRK-Congo weapons shipment may have passed through China.  KWP International Department Director Kim Yong-il continued his China trip in Tianjin.  Toward the end of the week, with Bosworth in Seoul, the KPA General Staff issued a bit of tactical rhetoric concerning US-ROK joint exercises.

While the General Staff was conducting its oblique tribute to the Four Tops,  four South Korean citizens were detained by the DPRK’s internal security apparatus:

Pyongyang, February 26 (KCNA) — A relevant institution of the DPRK recently detained four south Koreans who illegally entered it.

They are now under investigation by the institution.

Yonhap reports the following:

The Unification Ministry in Seoul said it was checking the report, adding none of the 1,054 South Koreans reported staying in the North as of Friday morning were in custody there.

“The only area we could suspect as a route for the South Koreans to enter North Korea is its border with China if our nationals did cross it,” a ministry official told reporters, declining to be identified because of the speculative nature of his comments.

Choi Seong-yong, a Seoul-based activist, claimed South Koreans crossed into the North Korean border town of Namyang from Tumen in China “several days ago to meet Kim Jong-il.”

Choi cited unidentified informants, downplaying the possibility that those said to be detained could be North Korean defectors helping others flee the country.

Will this be on the agenda during the next Inter-Korean meeting on Tuesday, 2 March?


This article was written on 26 Feb 2010, and is filled under DPRK External Relations, Inter-Korean Relations, State Security Department.

An affiliate of 38 North