Student from NYU Released by North Korea Authorities

Credit:fusion.net

On Monday, North Korea returned a student from South Korean who is attending New York University who was held by them since April, said officials in Seoul. Joo Won-moon the 21-year old student was handed to authorities from South Korea in Panmunjom the border village of North Korean said officials in South Korea at the Unification Ministry.

In May, North Korean officials announced that they had arrested Joo on April 22 for an illegal entrance into the country from neighboring China.

A number of interviews were then arranged as well as news conferences in Pyongyang where Joo told international news media that authorities in North Korea were treating him well.

Now that Joo is back in South Korea, he will likely face interrogation on charges of violating National Security Law which bans all South Koreans from visiting North Korean without permission from the government.

Joo was interviewed by an international news network in May that broadcast the interview of the permanent U.S. resident, who is attending NYU.

He said he was hoping to bring about a change in relations for the better between the two countries by entering illegally into the reclusive country to the North.

On Monday, the government of South Korea welcomed the decision of the North to return Joo but again demanded the North also release three more citizens of South Korea who were held much longer than Joo, including one missionary who was sentence to life at a hard labor camp.

South Koreans repatriation from North Korea is nothing unprecedented. Last year during September, North Korean returned a man from South Korea who fled to the North to escape difficulties he had economically.

In 2013, the government of North Koran also returned six men from South Korea after they had entered for the same reasons.

Over the last two decades, 28,000 people from North Korea have defected to South Korea, fleeing political repression and hunger in the reclusive country.