"The North sent an official notice that the six will be returned at the neutral truce village of Panmunjom Friday afternoon," said a South Korean unification ministry official under the condition of anonymity.
The official did not confirm the identities of those who are being released, but said that at least four of them were mentioned by the North's Korean Central News Agency after they allegedly entered the country illegally three years ago, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
"The KCNA reported authorities were questioning four South Koreans on Feb. 26, 2010," the official said, adding that at the time, South Korea asked Pyongyang to return the detainees.
"Because the North had ignored the South's request to send them back or even give basic personal information or how these people came to be inside the communist country, we do not really know under what circumstances they were detained or precisely how long they have been in the country," he said.
"Once the six return home, they will be questioned by authorities to determine why they were detained in the North," the official said.
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