North Korea defector,son found dead-police
The bodies of a North Korean defector and her young son have been found in their apartment , Seoul police said Tuesday , with local media reporting they appeared to have died of starvation .
The mother , only identified by the surname Han , and her six -year - old son were found on July 31 , about two months after their deaths, authorities said.
“ We did not see any signs of murder or suicide ,” an officer at Seoul ’s Gwanak Police Station told AFP.
“ We are waiting to get the autopsy results from the National Forensic Service .”
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Defectors in South Korea are eligible for subsidies from the authorities , but some struggle to integrate into the South ’ s very different society .
Han , believed to be in her 40 s , withdrew the 3 , 858 won ( US$ 3 . 16 ) she had in her bank account two months ago , according to the South ’ s Dong- A Ilbo newspaper .
Her monthly rent and gas bills were more than a year overdue , it reported , and there was no food in her fridge when the bodies were found .
The newspaper said she had defected to the South via China and Thailand in 2009 , later marrying a Korean -Chinese man and moving to China . After a divorce , she returned to Seoul last year with her son but had difficulty finding work .
Police declined to confirm Dong- A Ilbo ’s report.
South Korea is Asia’ s fourth -biggest economy, but family deaths due to poverty and social isolation have been frequently reported in recent years.
Government data shows that in 2017 — the most recent figures available — North Korean defectors had a higher suicide rate than South Koreans as a whole , with campaign groups pointing to trauma, isolation and financial hardships.
( AFP )