A South Korean Employee Detained in North Korea for 15 Days

For half a month after an employee of Hyundai Asan has been detained, the South Korean administration announced on Monday that it is, “Considering seriously this case, which is more drawn out, we will examine more diverse countermeasures if the case remain longer.”

North Korea is investigating the Hyundai Asan employee on suspicion that he was denouncing the North Korean system and advocating defection to a North Korean worker, and has detained him without any counsel’s interview. The South’s administration has yet to verify to his safety and well being.

Vice-spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification, Lee Jong Joo, criticized that, “North’s treatment in which he has not been permitted to have interviews with South’s counsels or governmental associates is unfair while violating inter-Korean agreements and international practices. It is an inhumane treatment that not allows basic rights for the accused.”

He emphasized that, “The South urges North Korea to guarantee him basic rights to be interviewed with South’s counsels or attorneys and to solve this issue as soon as possible.”

Regarding the South’s countermeasures, Vice-spokesperson Lee explained, “According to the existing inter-Korean agreements, if South’s personnel have committed severe violations against regulations, the case should be dealt with under negotiations with the South. Regarding legal application of the regulations agreed by both sides, the North and the South should negotiate with each other.”

Remarking on President Lee Myung Bak’s words on the 7th, “The associated company has to actively request North Korea to solve it. If necessary, the government will solve with cooperation with the international society,” she added, “We will examine the case from diverse perspectives.”

If the South Korean administration becomes involved in this situation, it will raise international awareness of North Korea’s maltreatment of workers, and may encourage an inter-Korean dialogue to discuss the issue.