A North Korean defector who has now crossed the border twice struggled with life in the South so much that he returned to Kim Jong-un.

The man, who has been described as being in his 30s, made the rare move of returning to North Korea, despite a number of his people wanting to go South.

He was reportedly struggling in South Korea and was “barely scraping a living” while working as a janitor.

The man decided to head home on New Year’s Day after his neighbours watched him throw away his belongings, including his mattress.

He then headed to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which separates North and South Korea.

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The man returned on New Year’s Day after neighbours saw him throw out his blongings

A military official in Seoul told the Independent: “I would say he was classified as lower class, barely scraping a living.”

It is not believed the man was a spy sent to the South but the military are investigating how the man evaded guards.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the man was given assistance and protection by police in the country’s capital of Seoul in June.

Folded bedding
A piece of folded bedding laid for recycling by the North Korean defector before he left for his home country

There was concern the man would possibly attempt to head back home but there was a lack of evidence, so no further action was taken.

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The man reportedly had little interaction with his neighbours but was seen by them the day before he crossed back over to North Korea.

As reported by the Yonhap, his neighbour said: “He was taking out a mattress and bedding to garbage dumps on that morning, and it was strange because they were all too new.

Panmunjom area
The Panmunjom area between South and North Korea, where the two countries are not separated by the DMZ

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“I thought about asking him to give it to us, but ended up not doing that, because we’ve never said hi to each other.”

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The man, who claimed to be a former gymnast, had not been in South Korea long after he was first found crossing the border by the army in November 2020.

According to the Unification Ministry, over 33,000 North Koreans have crossed the border with stats showing that only 30 have returned to the country since 2012.

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