Family of 5 North Korean defectors arrested in China takes cyanide

A family of five North Korean defectors committed suicide last week after they were arrested in China, according to various media reports.

The father, a former member of the Korean Workers’ Party, his wife, and their three children crossed the Yalu River into China earlier this month, reports Radio Free Asia.

“Right after they were caught in Yunnan, they tried to bribe their way out through a local fixer, but once they were taken to Shenyang they probably lost hope,” Kim Hee-tae, an activist, told the Chosun Ilbo Sunday.

North Korean defectors are known to sometimes carry cyanide capsules, and suicide is not uncommon, although it is unusual for an entire family to commit suicide. The family “committed suicide because they were afraid of the severe punishment” they would face in North Korea, one of the brokers in China who was helping them escape revealed.

North Korean defector Grace Jo told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “China needs to stop sending people back. Thousands of people are trying to get out of North Korea, but the Chinese are standing in their way.”

[The Daily Caller]

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