Defector couple 'return to N. Korea from South'

A North Korean refugee couple have returned to their homeland after being lured to South Korea where they lived for four years, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday.

The couple came back to Pyongyang on September 12, according to the country's official news agency.

It said Kim Kwang-Hyok and his wife told a press conference in the North's capital Thursday that they had been lured by South Korean intelligence agents and brokers to defect in 2008 after crossing the border into China.

The couple "were taken away to south Korea by dint of gimmicks, appeasement and manipulation of brokers and agents of the south Korean intelligence agency where they suffered a miserable life", the news agency said.

"But they came back home on September 12, keenly aware that they were cheated by them and their stay there would only bring death to them," it added.

In June a female North Korean refugee returned to Pyongyang after living six years in the South.

A month later former refugee Jon Yong-Chol claimed he was arrested after entering his homeland in an attempt to blow up a statue of its late leader Kim Il-Sung.

He said he had been promised handsome rewards by South Korean agents if he succeeded in his mission.

South Korea confirmed that Jon was a former defector who arrived in Seoul in 2010, but denied involvement in his return to the North.

About 24,000 refugees have settled in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. The North customarily describes them as "human scum" who betrayed their country.

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