19:57 GMT +319 September 2018
Listen Live
    A waitress fill up jugs of beer during Taedonggang Beer Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.

    The DPRK Called and Wants Its Waitresses Back

    © AP Photo / Dita Alangkara
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    6358

    Good serving staff is hard to find and harder to keep, and now Pyongyang wants those dozen waitresses who long ago fled to Seoul returned without delay.

    Days after abruptly canceling a historic and highly-anticipated meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) is now demanding that South Korea return twelve waitresses who defected to the south from a North Korean state-run restaurant in Ningbo, China, in 2016.

    The subject of intense debate when the matter first occurred, Pyongyang insists that the serving staff were kidnapped from their workplace while Seoul has consistently reported the defectors own testimony of free-will escape from a life of no hope and constant dictatorship.

    The issue reboiled over recently following a new version of the events offered by Pyongyang in which the restaurant manager where the hapless servers toiled now states that he lied to the workers and instead blackmailed them into their defection — all while obeying direct orders from Seoul's US-backed spy agency.

    Whether the twelve women are repatriated may compromise ongoing negotiations between Seoul and Pyongyang, according to a Saturday statement from the North's state-run KCNA news agency.

    "The South Korean authorities should […] send our women citizens to their families without delay and thus show the will to improve North-South ties," read the KCNA news release.

    The meeting cancellation and renewed demands by Pyongyang for the return of defectors flies in the face of a meeting last month between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in which both promised to pursue peace and denuclearization.

    An upcoming summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore next month follows a rapid shift from last year's saber-rattling, in which North Korea and the US traded high-school-level insults alongside threats of nuclear devastation.

    After last week's joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington, Pyongyang has "indefinitely" postponed negotiations with the South and has also threatened to cancel the summit between Trump and Kim.

    Related:

    Seoul Refutes Reports About Offer to US on Removal of Nukes From North Korea
    ‘Disingenuous’: US Practices Nuke Strikes on North Korea While Talking of Peace
    North Korea Begins Dismantling Nuclear Test Site - Reports
    Tags:
    nuclear war, saber-rattling, threat of war, peace negotiations, waiter, defector, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Moon Jae-in, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, China, United States, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment