North Korean nuclear scientist who defected commits suicide after being forced to return
A North Korean nuclear scientist who defected to China hs committed suicide after being forced to return to his country,RFA reported Thursday. The defector was a researcher at the physics center in the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang, but he never told his captors who he was.
According to RFA. the scientist was identified as Hyun Cheoi Huh. but RFA clarified it wasnt sure if that was his real name. The man reportedly took a leave of absence from his job at the academy before defecting.
He was sent back to North Korea Nov. 17.
“He killed himself only a few hours after he was placed in solitary confinement at the State Security Department in Sinuiju city,” a source told RFA, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He died before he could be questioned about the reasons for his escape, and what his route had been.”
The man took poison inside the security cell where he was set to be questioned. However, it remained unclear how he smuggled the poison inside his cell.
The man was detained in China and sent back to North Korea. It appeared he had kept his occupation a secret when he was detained, RFA reported.
For whatever reason, the defector had kept it to himself that he was a nuclear scientist when he was captured by the Chinese police, who had been tipped off to the group by a North Korean state security agent posing as a defector, the source said.
“If the Chinese government had known who he was, they would have wanted to learn what he knew and would never have sent him back,” the source said.