Two kidnappings of young children recently took place in Yanggang Province, Daily NK has learned. 

A source in the province reported on Tuesday that a six-year-old child was kidnapped from Gangan Kindergarten in Hyesan on May 12 and a five-year-old child was abducted from a kindergarten in Samsu County on May 24.

In the case of Gangan Kindergarten, the source said a man claiming to be the child’s father showed up at the school on the day of the incident. Though the child lived only with his mother, the man said he was the child’s divorced father and had come because he had not seen the child for a while. Then the man took the child away.

Afterwards, the man demanded a ransom of RMB 5,000 (around USD 783) for the child. The mother reported the matter to the city branch of the Ministry of Social Security and the child was recovered within eight hours. The culprit reportedly escaped, however.

pyungyang students school vacations
Students attending class in North Korea’s Pyongyang Elementary School. / Image: Ryukyung Website

Believing the incident to be a serious matter generating social disquiet, the Ministry of Social Security is looking for the suspect based on testimony from the kindergarten’s teachers, the source said. 

North Korean authorities also arrested the kidnapper of a five-year-old child at Hyesan Station two days after the abduction following a tip from a local. 

During questioning, the kidnapper told police he planned to take the child to Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province, and extort money from the parents through threatening phone calls. 

According to the source, there is growing anxiety among locals because of these kidnapping incidents. Parents with small children are worrying that the same thing could befall their “own children at any time.”

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