Feb. 6 (UPI) — A North Korean defector in Russia faces involuntary repatriation after spending years as a forced laborer, according to local reports.
Moscow newspaper Kommersant reported Sunday that Choi Myong Bok, a 54-year-old North Korean national, is in police custody and at risk of deportation.
Online newspaper Fontanka published a similar report.
Choi, who had worked as a manual laborer, escaped state surveillance for some time and remarried an ethnic Korean woman in Russia before he was detained.
Choi, who has a wife and family in the North, chose not to defect to South Korea for fear of retaliatory measures against his relatives left behind in his country of origin, according to the report.
Choi has two sons, ages 3 and 5, with his new family in Russia, but is at risk of deportation.
Russia is a traditional North Korea partner, and records show Moscow granted permanent asylum to only two North Koreans between …