• Kyodo

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A group of former Korean residents of Japan who had moved to North Korea under a repatriation program on Thursday called on the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) to help others escape the country.

The former residents have lived in South Korea since fleeing the North. They claim they were lured to North Korea by propaganda, with Chongryun having touted the country as a “paradise on earth.”

They urged Chongryun to help others who were repatriated, stating that they were deceived by the pro-Pyongyang organization over their future prospects.

The group had hoped to deliver its message in person at Chongryun’s Osaka headquarters but was greeted by a closed gate and received no response after making a request via the building’s intercom.

Group members then read out their demands in Korean and Japanese, before tossing documents over the gate and into the premises.

“I’m dissatisfied (that no one came out to speak to us),” one member said. “I want Chongryun to think hard” about what it has done, he added.

Eleven people — eight former Korean residents of Japan who now live in South Korea and their children — are currently on a homecoming trip, visiting family graves and other locations. They are scheduled to leave Monday.

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