SEOUL, A North Korean defector-turned reporter was abducted to the communist nation during a visit to a Chinese region bordering the North last year, an opposition lawmaker claimed Friday.

Rep. Ha Tae-keung of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party also said during a news conference with family members of the abducted reporter surnamed Choi that the government should demand Choi's return along with the release of six other South Korean abductees in the North.

Choi, a reporter with the Seoul-based Daily NK internet newspaper, was abducted in late May last year while visiting a China-North Korea border region and has been held in an underground prison of the State Security Department in Pyongyang, the lawmaker claimed.

Choi's wife said that her husband entered South Korea in 2011 and has since worked as a reporter. He traveled to China in order to collect fresh news on North Korea, she said.

"Our family is desperately waiting for my husband ... but there has been no word," she said. "I respectfully ask President Moon Jae-in that the government talk to North Korea and save those abducted."

Source: Yonhap News Agency