A North Korean defector who had lived in South Korea has been arrested in the North for conspiring with Seoul’s spy agency to kidnap North Korean children”, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported on Friday from Pyongyang.

The 53-year-old man, identified as Ko Hyon-chol, confessed to trying to kidnap two North Korean orphan girls and take them to the South, during a news conference for foreign media in Pyongyang, according to AFP.

I committed the unpardonable crime of being involved in attempted child abduction,” Ko was quoted as telling the news conference.

Ko fled from North Korea in 2013 and stayed in China for about a year before arriving in South Korea in 2014.