The North Korean regime is devoting all its energy to paint the mass defection of North Korean restaurant workers who fled from China to South Korea in April as an act of mass enticement and abduction by the South Korean government.

The regime forced the defectors’ coworkers to interview with CNN late April to slander the South Korean government. About the incident, they said that a South Korean businessman and the North Korean manager at the restaurant acted in collusion under the direction of the South Korean government.

Furthermore, the North recently committed a cruel act of disclosing the letters from the defectors’ families through its propaganda media like Uriminzokkiri to compel the defectors to return by holding their families hostage.

What is more cruel and vicious is that the Kim Jong-un regime presses the defectors to confess whether their defection was based on their own free will, putting them in a serious dilemma. They cannot tell that they came to the South willingly for fear of endangering their families in the North.

Nor can they comment that they were abducted, because if they do, they will be returned to North Korea. Giving them no choice but to choose between their own survival and punishment of their families is incredibly inhumane.

Kim Jong-un has repeatedly demanded the defectors’ repatriation while making threats that the South would face “unimaginable serious consequences and severe punishment.” He even allegedly ordered a retaliatory terror attack against Koreans in border areas between China and North Korea.

We strongly denounce the North Korean regime’s actions in regard to the mass defection of North Korean restaurant workers.

First, we criticize the North Korean regime’s deception. Whenever its citizens flee to the South, the regime blames the South Korean government accusing it of luring and kidnapping them. It made its usual fraudulent claims again toward the recent mass defection of North Korean restaurant workers as an attempt to fool its people and the international community alike.

Second, we strongly condemn the Kim Jong-un regime for its barbaric act of holding the defectors’ families and colleagues hostage to threathen the defectors who made a brave decision to live as free human beings.

Third, we demand that the North guarantee its people their basic human rights rather than devoting itself to making false propaganda and threats to prevent further defection and unrest among its people.

Fourth, we call on the North Korean government to drop the hypocrisy of denouncing defection as enticement and abduction by the South while kidnapping innocent foreigners itself. We call for the regime to apologize for the foreigners it has kidnapped and to take measures to address the problems that are driving its citizens to defect.