Nepal releases S Koreans held over missing N Korean

Nepal has released two South Koreans held for their alleged involvement in the case of a missing North Korean, the South`s foreign ministry said.

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2010, 18:45 PM IST

Seoul: Nepal has released two South
Koreans held for their alleged involvement in the case of a
missing North Korean, the South`s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The two men, who live in Nepal, were ordered to leave
the country within 15 days after being freed, the ministry
said.

Yonhap news agency said the pair were accused of
helping a North Korean surnamed Yang flee the Himalayan nation
across the border into India, after which he defected to the
South.

A local media report in the Himalayan country had said
they were arrested following pressure from Pyongyang`s embassy
in Kathmandu, which wanted them charged with kidnapping Yang.

South Korean newspapers have said Yang was the manager
of the local franchise of an overseas restaurant chain
operated by the North. The franchises are an important source
of scarce foreign currency for the cash-strapped regime.

Some 20,000 North Koreans have fled their homeland and
arrived in South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 war,
almost always through a third country.

PTI