North Korea frees South Korean detainee arrested in July

Korean People’s Army soldiers standing before the Military Demarcation Line at the truce village of Panmunjom on the North Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone separating North and South Korea. (AFP pic)

SEAOUL: Pyongyang on Tuesday released a South Korean detainee “arrested for entering the North illegally” last month, Seoul’s unification ministry said, as ties improve between the two countries following a summit between their leaders in April.

“Our side received a South Korean national surnamed Seo, born in 1984, through Panmunjom from the North at 11.00am (0200 GMT)” on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement, referring to the truce village in the demilitarised zone dividing the two countries.

The release followed a message from Pyongyang on Monday informing Seoul that the North Korean authorities had arrested the South Korean for “entering the North illegally on July 22”, the statement added.