Not Adding Up


As reported in the Guardian:

“South Korea investigating ‘abduction’ of North Korean defector and TV star”

It is possible that this North Korean woman, Jeon Hye-sung, simply got terribly homesick, missed her parents, and decided to return to North Korea.

“Local media reported that South Korean intelligence authorities were investigating how the woman, known as Lim Ji-hyun in her previous television appearances, re-entered North Korea.

Jeon, aged in her mid-20s, could have been the target of a North Korea abduction, the conservative South Korean politician Cheong Yang-seog said. He suspected Jeon might have disappeared in April when she travelled to China for “shopping and business” on a South Korean passport.

“If it was a ‘voluntary abduction’, one would normally take care of her assets and property, but [Jeon] left them behind,” Cheong said…”

Here, Jeon might have actually made the decision to return to North Korea once she was in China – which would explain her leaving all her assets and belongings behind in South Korea.

Also, perhaps she speculated that, if she had liquidated her assets, then perhaps the South Korean government would have suspected her of planning to return to North Korea. She may have imagined, rightly or wrongly, that the South Korean government would have acted to prevent that.

Leaving Seoul to shop in Beijing? I don’t think so. It’s the other way around.

One scenario that does not seem plausible is one of “forced” abduction. China has too much control over China to allow for any North Koreans to kidnap a person, say in Beijing, and take the to North Korea. This is not possible.

Nor is it really possible for North Koreans to enter China and strong arm, or pressure, a person to exit with them via airport security. And Jeon held a South Korean passport. Chinese immigration officials at any airport or land border would have insisted on seeing her visa for North Korea.

An even more improbable scenario was advanced by a South Korean newspaper, the Korea TImes, speculating “that she may have been abducted on the China-North Korean border while trying to help her relatives escape.” That is not going to happen on the world’s most heavily defended border, where there is usually a 3-kilometer buffer zone.

So, either Jeon got homesick and decided to return to North Korea – or the same above-government cult (that pulled off a similar caper a few months ago) arranged for another charade. Dramatic tension. Sub-plots. Media fodder. Mind control.

Homesickness or theater, take your pick.

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