South Korea officers charged with rape of North Korean defector

Sept. 1 (UPI) — Two officers with South Korea’s Armed Forces Intelligence Command have been charged with rape.

The officers, who were not identified, are accused of raping a North Korean defector on multiple occasions when they were responsible for “protecting and supervising” the woman, News 1 and Newsis reported.

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South Korea’s defense ministry said Tuesday military prosecutors have charged the defendants with various sex crimes. Defendant A, a lieutenant colonel in the army, was charged with adultery and “coercion.” Defendant B, a first sergeant, was charged with adultery, sexual assault and rape.

The crimes were committed between May 2018 and February 2019.

The woman reportedly had sensitive information about the Kim Jong Un regime, and the officers were instructed to obtain the information from her. In the process, Defendant B is accused of inducing her to drink alcohol before he raped her. The rapes may have continued for months.

Following the assault, the victim reportedly turned to Defendant A. He denied her help and sexually assaulted her, reports say.

According to prosecutors, the officers demanded the woman obtain “internal information from North Korea” from a younger sibling in the North.

The defector notified South Korean military prosecutors of the assault in December. The woman said she had been impregnated twice and was forced to undergo abortions.

South Korean prosecutors said the defendants were charged and the case will move to the courts, according to Newsis.

Reports of North Korean women being the target of sexual assault have increased in the South, where the vast majority of defectors are women.

In July, South Korea’s National Police Agency said it would launch an investigation into a local officer accused of raping a North Korean defector at least a dozen times.

The defector requested help but struggled to find justice, according to local press reports.

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