South Korean intelligence officers are investigating whether or not a outstanding defector from the North has been kidnapped again to Pyongyang.
The lady, often called Lim Ji-hyun, fled to South Korea in 2014, the place she turned a well-liked TV persona.
Nevertheless, a lady resembling her appeared in a propaganda video within the North’s capital on Sunday – prompting hypothesis she could have been kidnapped.
Within the video, she says she was lured away and compelled to slander the North.
She says that she voluntarily returned throughout the border.
Ms Lim had been a well-liked face on South Korean tv, showing on each discuss exhibits and actuality TV programmes.
The authorities haven’t but confirmed if the lady within the propaganda video is Ms Lim. Nevertheless, they consider Ms Lim is again in North Korea.
The propaganda video was released on Youtube by the North Korean Uriminzokkiri web site on Sunday.
Within the video, the lady introduces herself by one other title, Jeon Hye-Sung.
She is proven in dialog with an interviewer and Kim Man-bok, one other former defector who additionally returned to the North.
She says she was lured to the South by the “fantasy” that she might “eat nicely and make a lot of cash” and claims that she was compelled into slandering her personal nation.
She describes how within the South the whole lot was judged by cash, how she was struggling to make ends meet and was requested to discredit the North on a number of TV exhibits.
She stated she was now residing again along with her dad and mom once more after returning to the North final month.
“I felt actually lonely in South Korea and I missed my dad and mom,” she stated within the video.
JoongAng Ilbo newspaper stories that the defector had thanked her followers as not too long ago as April for a birthday celebration, calling it “probably the happiest birthday of my life”.
Her fan membership introduced on Sunday it could shut.
Intelligence officers are investigating how Ms Lim may need re-entered North Korea.
Some North Korean defectors have speculated that she could have been kidnapped on the China-North Korean border whereas making an attempt to smuggle out relations, the Korea Times stories.
The BBC’s Karen Allen in Seoul says that faux propaganda movies do flow into in North Korea however the authorities in Seoul have confirmed they’re taking this critically and are investigating her case.
Over the previous decade, tens of 1000’s of North Koreans have defected from the authoritarian state into South Korea.
The unification ministry in Seoul informed the BBC that since 2012 solely 25 returned.
Some North Korean defectors have described difficulties in adapting to life in the South – many miss their households within the North, or wrestle to seek out appropriate jobs.