“It was like writing my autobiography,” said a 59-year-old female defector who spent three months at the South Korean interrogation center from 2012 and asked that she not be named because she is not supposed to talk about the process.
“I talked about my whole life in chronological order and got checked,” she told Reuters.
“I came here to change my life so there was nothing that I was afraid of.”
Lie detectors are used as a basic tool, as many defectors from the isolated and impoverished North are undocumented, a former National Intelligence Service official said.
A typical interrogation starts with the defector’s address, and the program has built a database with locations, names and other details to compare with their story. The program has succeeded in weeding out about 120 bogus defectors and 14 spies, local media reports last year said, citing intelligence officials. Fake defectors are believed mainly to consist of ethnic Korean citizens of mainland China. The numbers could not be independently verified.
Those found not to be North Korean defectors are deported, while those determined to be spies are prosecuted, according to South Korean authorities. Read more