Tags: north korea | defector | suicide

North Korea Defector Suicide: Nuke Scientist Said to Poison Self After Sent Back by China

North Korea Defector Suicide: Nuke Scientist Said to Poison Self After Sent Back by China

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks at what may be part of a nuclear weapon. (AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 December 2017 10:48 AM

A North Korean defector, a nuclear scientist, was said to have committed suicide with poison after he was sent back to his home country from China, Radio Free Asia's Korean service reported.

A source in the North Korean province of North Hamgyong told the news agency that the scientist was among a group of North Koreans captured in Shenyang, China on Nov. 4 and returned to the reclusive communist country 10 days later. The Chinese apparently were unaware of who he was.

The scientist was a researcher in the physics center of the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang, the source told Radio Free Asia.

"He killed himself only a few hours after he was placed in solitary confinement at the State Security Department in Sinuiju city" just across the border from China, the source said.

"He died before he could be questioned about the reasons for his escape, who had helped him, and what his route had been. He must have been searched many times while being taken from China to Sinuiju, so it's a mystery how he was able to conceal the poison he took."

News of the suicide comes a month after a North Korean soldier made a daring defection across the Demilitarized Zone into South Korea that nearly cost him his life as his fellow North soldiers shot him several times, CNN reported. He had driven to the border and then fled on foot.

The North Korean soldier, known only as Oh, had to have parasites removed from his intestines and he suffered from complications from tuberculosis and hepatitis B, per CNN. Doctors said that the 24-year-old also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder but is slowly recovering.

Radio Free Asia said the defecting scientist had taken a vacation leave from his job "because he was showing signs of anxiety over his research projects," according to the source.


"Suddenly, he visited relatives near the border without letting his family know and without carrying valid documents for travel. And when he learned that the authorities were looking for him, he simply disappeared," the source told Radio Free Asia.

Radio Free Asia said that North Korean sources had identified the defector as Hyun Cheol Huh earlier this month, but the RFA source said "we don't know if this was his real name or not."

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A North Korean defector, a nuclear scientist, was said to have committed suicide with poison after he was sent back to his home country from China.
north korea, defector, suicide
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2017-48-29
Friday, 29 December 2017 10:48 AM
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