North Korean defects to claim inheritance in ROK

According to the AFP:

A North Korean woman has defected to South Korea to claim an inheritance from her late grandfather, an official said Wednesday, in the latest of several cross-border claims on long-lost relatives.

The unidentified woman has filed suit claiming a share of the property that her step-grandmother gained after the grandfather’s death, the official at Seoul Western District Court told AFP.

The grandfather left his wife and four children in the North and came South during the 1950-53 war. He married again and amassed a fortune, according to JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.

He had no children with his new wife in the South and a few years ago met the granddaughter — his only surviving kin in the North — through a family reunion programme.

The two stayed in touch and the grandfather often sent money to the woman in the impoverished communist state.

She defected after learning of her grandfather’s death last year, and recently filed court evidence to try to prove her family connection.

The step-grandmother was now seeking a DNA test to verify the family relationship, the court official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“If the family relationship is proved by the DNA test, the North Korean woman will for sure get her share of the inheritance,” he said.

The official said he was aware of “more and more” similar lawsuits filed by North Koreans. He declined to say how much the inheritance in this particular case was worth.

The South Korean government is taking steps that it claims will protect the rights of North Koreans to receive their inheritance in the South while making it harder for them to take the funds out of the country.

There are two other cases of which I am aware where North Koreans are seeking inheritance funds from wealthy relatives in the South.  See here and here.

Read the full story here:
N. Korean defects to S. Korea to seek inheritance
AFP
2011-8-31

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