It has emerged that a 51-year old South Korean activist was arrested last week by the Vietnamese security services at a hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
The man, known only as Yoo, has been under investigation since his arrest on the 20th, and while nothing is yet known about charges against him, it is thought likely that the arrest relates to his work helping North Koreans defectors travel through third countries in the region en route to South Korea.
Yoo is thought to be directly connected to numerous such transit cases, including those of four individuals who arrived in South Korea very recently.
A government official commented on the case to Daily NK today, saying, “The Vietnamese have yet to provide us with information on the charges or how he was arrested. We have applied for consular access, and are waiting for a response.”
“It is currently unclear whether we will be able to speak to the man today or not,” the official added, noting that the government also has no idea whether the arrest relates to North Korea’s own recent crackdown on attempted defection.