Double Defectors Condemn Life in South, Netizens Feel Betrayed

North Korean defector couple giving press conference

From Yonhap News:

North Korea greets double defector couple…for the second time of this year

‘Sick of living in the South’…the North targets to secure the system

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on the 8th (November) that a North Korean defector couple who had been living in the South for a while recently returned to the North.

KCNA also reported that the defectors, Kim Kwang-hyeok and Ko Jeong-nam, who had felt strongly disappointed with life in South Korea and went back to the North, gave a press conference at the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.

It is the second time that North Korean double-defectors have given a press conference since Kim Jong Un has come to power; on the 28th of June, Park Jeong-sook (known as Park In-sook in the South) was the first defector to do so.

To count Jeon Young-cheol in, whom allegedly got arrested for attempting to destroy statues of Kim Il Sung in July, it is the third time that the North holds a press conference for returned defectors.

According to the KCNA, ‘Kim Kwang-hyeok and Ko Jeong-nam illegally crossed the border to China in March and September 2008, respectively; they got dragged to the South under the coercion and manipulation of South Korean government agents,’ and added ‘Having lived miserable in the South, they felt deceived, which resulted in them returning to the North on the 12th of September.’

The couple reportedly first met in the South, after leaving North Korea separately; they got married in July 2009.

Mr Kim (27) was born in Musan-gun, Hamgyeong-bukdo. Due to financial strain, he moved to China where he met a guy in mid-thirties, saying ‘If you go to South Korea, you’ll be able to get proper treatment for diseases and earn money as much as you wish.’

And Ko (29) was born is Hongwon-gun, Southern Hamgyong-namdo. She said she was coerced by a broker when selling goods at Hamheung Market, leaving her with fantasies and curiosity of the South.

The couple’s two-year-old son also participated at the conference; Mr Kim seemed a little bit emotional, talking about his mother left behind in the South.

North Korean defector couple giving a press conference at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang.

It is confirmed that a North Korean defector couple with the same name as the couple lived in South Korea.

An official at the Ministry of Unification said, ‘We’re working on finding facts around this incident.’

A North Korean defector residing in South Korea claimed that ‘Kim was a broker, travelling China back and forth,’ and ‘he may have been caught by the North Korean authorities.’

The North Korean regime may intend to secure the system by preventing the people from escaping, with the help of press conference that publicly condemns life in the South as unbearable.

Comments from Naver:


‘North Korean defector couple went back to North Korea again’ sounds too complicated; let’s just say ‘spy couple returned to the North after their mission was accomplished.’


They’re spies! What the hell are those in the National Intelligence Service doing?! Ah, it’s not like we don’t have enough spies in the National Assembly.


Let’s get it straight. They’re ‘spies,’ not ‘defector couple.’


It’s tough living in here, but I’m sure it’s much better than living in the North.


Clear-minded defectors would never go back to the North. The regime might’ve promised to shower them with money under the premise to get crucial information out from South Korea. They don’t even operate under the shadow these days.. Politicians, watch out for policies toward North Korea. If you keep embracing the North with ‘unconditional love,’ we may get unconditionally swallowed by them.


You wanna go back? You’ll learn your lesson when starved enough. Go and lick Kim Jong Un’s toe nails, you sons of bitches!


Livelihood in the South is not very good –- to earn your salary isn’t that easier than to worship the dear leader. If you North Koreans have fancied the idea of rice and meat stew falling from the sky in Southern part of the peninsula, STOP coming here. [‘Rice and meat stew’ is an old-fashioned Korean idiom meaning ‘luxurious food.’]


The government is being too generous on embracing North Korean defectors; who knows some of them would turn out to be spies? Over the course of the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations, we’re seeing significant increase in number of those defectors. Doesn’t it ring a bell? We must not let the Democratic United Party win this presidential election.


They may be defectors on the outside, but definitely spies on the inside.


Stop accepting North Korean defectors, they’re ungrateful! Spend the money for poor families and old people, rather than supporting commies.


BTW, since when has it become so easy to go back and forth between the two Koreas?


Send his mother to the North as well.. Those commie saekkis.. ㅡㅡ


This is bullshit ke ke I bet the North regime has orchestrated the whole thing to hopefully brainwash its people with the old propaganda of South Korea being a poor nation. ke ke ke Had they been genuinely defectors from the North, the regime would’ve executed them immediately. ke ke


I guess it’s a part of the latest tactic of commies. How cunning they are! ke ke


They must’ve had some sorta Cinderella Syndrome that South Koreans would somehow serve them like royals. But live in the North for a week, and you’ll start regretting and be like ‘What the hell was I thinking?’


They’re hundred per cent spies, period. How could the government just let them get away like this? They should be killed! This is why we don’t have to treat North Korea well.


When defectors come to the South, they’re automatically eligible for assistance from the government and support groups, helping them find jobs and settle down. The couple is such a shame on the defectors community. I’m pretty sure they’ve taken some sensitive information gathered here with them; they must be spies!!


They sound like spies! That spy couple has been working in the South and went back to the North, feeling over-burdened with the child they gave birth to here. ㅡㅡ


They might’ve misunderstood that there’s such a thing as a free lunch—meat stew, perhaps.


Tell me, defector comrade. Did you eat ‘rice and meat stew’ in South Joseon or not? What?! You little son of a bitch, you didn’t even share it with us! Send these two to gulags! [Mimicking North Korean dialect; South Joseon means South Korea in the dialect.]

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  • lonetrey / Dan

    “double defectors” in the title made me think that they had defected twice to the same side… now I see it means “two people”.

    Also, what a douchey thing to do. These North Korean defectors spat in the face of people who offered them a better life… perhaps they are too brainwashed and thought it all too tiresome, so they ran back to their brainwashers. Stockholme Syndrome.

    • Brett

      They could just be part of the propoganda machine. North’s government has them defect, only to go back again and tell people how much better the North is. I mean, with S. Korean passports they could have gone to any country in the world, but they “chose” North Korea…. right.

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Hmmm, perhaps (and hence why people are declaring them spies.) but as spies living life on the other side and still not seeing the bigger brighter picture…. Pretty much nails them down as brainwashed.

  • chucky3176

    These two were probably lured back to North Korea, with the life threatening threats against their loved ones remaining in North Korea. North Korean defectors already suffer terribly from guilty conscience of leaving their families behind. North Korea is probably using the thousands of North Korean spies active in South Korea, to find the North Korean defectors in South Korea and threaten them with the threats against their families in North Korea.

  • RegisterToPost

    Surprised they weren’t marched off to the gulags as soon as they stepped foot in NK.

    • mr.wiener

      Traitors are occasionally useful, but seldom loved.

  • x1sfg

    They’re either spies or were forced back with threats, so they can be used as propaganda

  • Paul M

    The only thing I know for certain is that we’ll never hear the truth about what happened.

  • dk2020

    they’ll probably be treated good and used as propaganda, like that lone white US soldier that defected during the war ..

  • holdingrabbits

    I don’t see how this is true at all. “Gangnam Style,” the greatest song that ever was or ever will be, was already out. So I find it hard to believe that they would leave that behind. What will their lives be without hearing the world’s anthem every time they buy something at the grocery store, withdraw money from the bank, encounter an enthusiastic passerby, or watch any television commercial?

    • mr.wiener

      Hmm. I might want to move to North Korea just to avoid hearing it played all the time. Great song…for the first 50 times you hear it, after that….. >.<

      • holdingrabbits

        I’ve got bad news. You might be a white supremacist for not liking the song anymore.

        • mr.wiener

          Am I a white supremacist if I never want to hear “Barbie girl” again too? If so, sign me up bubba.

    • dk2020

      dude, can you get any more cornball? wrong article ..

      • holdingrabbits

        I think your reading comprehension skills are lacking. Explaining the joke, which I shouldn’t have to do for anyone with at least a 7th grade education, would ruin the joke. So let me assure you that I did not comment on the wrong article, but was making a side joke. In the future, if you are in doubt about the ignorance that might escape your mouth/keyboard, kindly consult someone first. Also, I implore you to not comment on my posts anymore since you clearly have nothing to add and only want to troll me. This was simply meant to be a light-hearted post, but somehow you managed to find fault with it (probably because you didn’t read it). So again, leave me alone or leave the blood nationalism at home.

        • dk2020

          LMAO why so serious? muhahaha, u were joking but you can’t take a joke? .. mang u still hella corny bro, don’t matter if u in the US or SoKo u still laaaaaame .. I’ll clown you all day you sissy .. LOL.

          • holdingrabbits

            You weren’t making a joke, you were making an insult.

          • dk2020

            Really? and you’re not insulting at all huh? I see .. you get what you give cornball, and karma is a muthafucka.

          • holdingrabbits

            If my initial post insulted you somehow then I’m sorry. I assure you though that I posted it with no thoughts of you at all. If pointing out the idiocy of believing something against all facts deserves karmic retribution, then so be it…and if you want to continue our conversation on why statistics are much more reliable than one xenophobic drunk girl’s opinion, we can continue that debate on the other thread (not that it would change your mind). Now I’ll just wait for you to call me “gay” or “retarded.”

          • dk2020

            insulting as in you’re condescending as always, cornball as in you’re boring can you even dance? and fuck your white supremacy bitch .. you’re not going to save all the korean women and abused dogs in SoKo so stop whining, acting like you’re white jesus dickhead. did you get raped this week yet? oh and make this clear .. I’m only talking about YOU and not anybody else .. I respect Brett and Kate doing their thing and I wish them the best ..

          • holdingrabbits

            LOL, U right, homie.

          • dk2020

            good u can see it from another perspective wood .. now kick rocks.

          • holdingrabbits

            So now that it’s out of your system. What have I said that has made me a white supremacist exactly? When did I say that white people were better than everyone else? Please, point to the post. Korea has social problems, and the fact that most people in the country are of Korean ethnicity is an unrelated matter (for me, but not for you). Guess what, I live in the real Korea. I think rape and animal abuse is messed up. So believe me when I tell you that just because I don’t like rape or animal abuse doesn’t mean that I am a white supremacist. I didn’t compare it to America because I don’t live there. I also don’t live in Belgium, so I probably won’t make a comparison to there (though I hear there are lots of white people there). It’s hard to not be condescending to you when you consistently say stupid and/or uninformed shit. I don’t know if you have any actual experience with white supremacy or if you just have a victim complex (ding! ding! ding!), but I know the moderator didn’t tell me to lay off the racist speech…I think that was you, right?

            It’s fucking “gangnam style” who gives a flying fuck? It’s a shitty shitty shitty shitty song. I would rather drink garbage water and set my dick on fire than hear it again. Fuck that song, fuck it so hard. Everyone who likes that song hates art. Do I have to like everything about Korea to not be a white supremacist? Do I have to beat off to hangeul and pictures of rice fields? Every culture, even Korea, is a purveyor of endless shit and you just sort of need to accept that. Do you like everything about America? No? Why not? Do you hate Americans? Are you a Korean supremacist? Just be reasonable or at least stop using words my dad used in the 90’s as insults (corny? really?).

          • dk2020

            cornball long winded reply .. how boring ..

          • holdingrabbits

            Yeah, walk away, bitch.

          • dk2020

            lols y u mad? do the horsey dance and chill chobo .. ahahaha ..

  • PixelPulse

    Pfff, such a set up. Only a moron could actually believe that they would really go back to North Korea willingly. The whole thing pretty much screams of being scripted.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I’m surprised they are being welcomed so warmly, considering the KCNA always puts down defectors in a very nasty language, or as nasty as you can get on public television. Something tells me they are just gonna be used as a propaganda tool, then slowly and discreetly ‘removed’ to prevent triple defection.

    • chucky3176

      They’re done. Once their usefulness is over, they’ll be stuffed into one of the concentration camps out in the north somewhere, where they will starve and get beaten for the rest of their short lives. They got fooled into going back, and they’re probably regretting already.

  • muffy

    I don’t see how much information they can get as spies…”Oh there is a new Coffee Bean opening in Hongdae and subway old ladies are scary and rude.”

    The government obviously wouldn’t let them touch any information that they couldn’t get themselves of the net.

    • KamJos

      They spy on other defectors.

  • velvett

    Why there are a lot of people assuming they were spies? One of them even left his mother in the South. I find it more reasonable they were either threatened or coerced by the North regime.

    • offalone

      There are a considerable amount of cases where the Northern spies disguise themselves as a defector to penetrate through South Korean inspections and defense lines. Which makes the Southern Intelligence Agents inspect defectors more closely and strictly. The defection method is almost impossible for the Southern spies to get to the North.

  • dim mak

    What’s a saekki anyway

    • Jennster

      ‘bastard’ i think but it sounds so hilarious

  • 3ayo

    It would be hilarious if in a few years they were caught trying to get back into the south.

  • Gabrielle

    “Comrades, our mission is over. We found crucial informations on Nam-Joseon. IU’s pajamas are ugly and her boyfriend has a faux-nose.”

  • Amir Fahran

    Ah, well, marked for death by both governments…no worries.

  • Pingback: Press Conference as Discursive Battleground: Pyongyang’s Evolving “Double Defector” Propaganda, Part 2 « SINO-NK()

  • Pingback: Press Conference as Discursive Battleground: Pyongyang’s Evolving “Double Defector” Propaganda, Part II « SINO-NK()

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