A group of 13 North Koreans working at a restaurant in an unidentified country defect en masse to South Korea, according to Seoul's Ministry of Unification.
Friday's public announcement is unusual for South Korea, which typically keeps a low-profile about defections.
- USA Today
- North Korea accuses South Korea of kidnapping its citizens and demands their immediate return after Seoul's Ministry of Unification said 13 of them had defected to South Korea from China, where they worked in a Pyongyang-operated restaurant. China says that the 13 people, a male manager and 12 young female employees, had legitimate passports and had freely exited China.
- South Korea announces that a colonel from North Korea's military spy agency defected to the south last year. Senior-level defections are rare, most being low level operatives.
- South Korea's Ministry of Unification allows humanitarian aid shipments to North Korea despite recent military tensions.
- A North Korean soldier defects to South Korea after swimming across the Han River, the second North Korean defection in a week.
- A North Korean soldier crosses the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and defects to South Korea, the first since September 2016.
- The United States deploys parts of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea amidst high tension caused by North Korea's escalation of its missile and nuclear weapons programs.
- South Korea announces it will be raising its US$217,000 cash reward for classified information from North Korea by defectors to $860,000.
- South Korea reports that North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
- In response to the annual military drills, North Korea threatens to destroy Seoul and Washington, D.C. through nuclear weapons if provoked. Both South Korea and the United States insist the drills are for defense.
- South Korea and the United States start annual military drills despite North Korea's threats of nuclear attacks.