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Published on Jun 04, 2013
SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea on Tuesday rejected charges by the Lao government that two of its nationals, arrested with nine North Korean refugees who were later forcibly repatriated, were human traffickers.
The nine refugees, aged between 14 and 18, were arrested in Laos on May 10 for illegal entry and were eventually returned to North Korea via China.
The Lao foreign ministry said two South Koreans accompanying the refugees were detained for alleged human trafficking and later handed over to the South’s embassy in Vientiane.
“It is not true that the (South Korean) guides of the North Korean defectors were involved in human trafficking,” Seoul’s foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai Young told reporters.