North Korean who caused coronavirus scare was fleeing sexual assault investigation, report says

More details are emerging as to why the man decided to re-enter North Korea

The man who sparked a recent coronavirus scare in North Korea after crossing its border reportedly fled the South because he was facing a sexual assault investigation, it has emerged.

The 24-year-old – who defected from North Korea to the South years ago – returned to the Hermit Kingdom last week after crawling underneath barbed wire inside a drain on Ganghwa Island and then crossing a portion of the Yellow Sea, according to the BBC.

His arrival prompted Kim Jong Un to place the border city of Kaesong on lockdown as state media reported that testing showed he might have the virus, but South Korea said Monday he wasn’t a confirmed patient.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found there with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, saying “the vicious virus” may have entered the country, state media reported

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found there with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, saying “the vicious virus” may have entered the country, state media reported (Naohiko Hatta/Kyodo News/Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

DEFECTOR WHO SPARKED NORTH KOREA CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN DOESN’T HAVE DISEASE, SOUTH SAYS 

South Korean police are now saying that the man, identified only by his surname Kim, had been accused of sexually assaulting a fellow defector at her home, Reuters reports.

The woman behind that allegation filed her complaint in mid-June, but Kim denied the claims when he was interviewed by investigators around a week later, the news agency adds.

Then on July 19, one of Kim’s acquaintances reported to police that he threatened the alleged victim and planned to escape to the North, according to Reuters.

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An arrest warrant reportedly was issued for Kim later that week, but he had already made it back into North Korea.

A South Korean official told Reuters that Kim scoped out the area of his escape in early July in apparent preparation for the daring journey.