SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A cellphone smuggled into North Korea helped Lee Seo Yeon take on two missions: one emotional, one financial. But at first, she feared there might be some mistake.

Listening in Seoul, the 40- year-old defector didn’t recognize the voice on the other end. It was supposed to be a sister she hadn’t spoken to since late 1998, when Lee left her family and waded through chilly, chestdeep waters to enter China.

Lee’s sister is not much older than she is, but the voice on the phone “sounded like an old woman’s,” she said.

“But she remembered the scars I’ve got on my hip from when she asked me to sit on the edge of a chopstick for fun when we were little girls. She still remembers the name of my friend who lived next door. We talked about things like that, and I ended up crying.”

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