Chao Mao Vireak, chief of immigration police in Siem Reap said yesterday that on Wednesday a representative of Pyongyang Friendship restaurant in Svay Dangkum commune filed a missing-persons report for 21-year-old waitress Ri Suhyang, who was last seen on Tuesday around 9:30am.
“She told the boss that she was going out for a while, but then disappeared,” Mao Vireak said. “She left by herself, and didn’t even bring her iPhone 4 with her.”
Police are now disseminating word of the disappearance to every police station in the province, he continued, and providing photos of Ri and copies of her passport, which was being held by her employer.
A man at Pyongyang Friendship restaurant who identified himself as the manager yesterday confirmed Ri’s disappearance, but declined to comment further, and it remains unclear whether Pyongyang Friendship is directly linked to the North Korean government or its global chain of Pyongyang Traditional Restaurants.
North Koreans have attempted to defect in Cambodia in the past, as in 2004, when seven asylum seekers were arrested here. Amid international pressure, the asylum seekers were ultimately sent to South Korea, despite Cambodia’s historically cosy relationship with the hermit kingdom.
It remained unclear yesterday as to whether Ri’s disappearance could have been a defection. An official with the South Korean Embassy said he had no knowledge of the case and refused to comment further.
On February 14, Canadian citizen David Edward Walker disappeared under very suspicious and disturbing circumstances in Siem Reap Cambodia, his remains were later found at a near by temple.