North Korea’s acting ambassador to Kuwait has defected to South Korea, the most recent in a latest string of high-profile escapes from the remoted nation, a South Korean lawmaker stated on Monday.
Ryu Hyun Woo had led North Korea’s embassy in Kuwait since former Ambassador So Chang Sik was expelled after a 2017 U.N. decision sought to cut back the nation’s abroad diplomatic missions.
Ryu defected to South Korea final September, in accordance to Tae Yong Ho, who was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain earlier than settling within the South in 2016 and being elected as a lawmaker final yr.
Kuwait had been a key supply of overseas foreign money for Pyongyang, which despatched 1000’s of labourers there, principally for building tasks. Tae stated Ryu can also be the son-in-law of Jon Il Chun, who as soon as oversaw a Worker’s Party bureau answerable for managing the ruling Kim household’s secret coffers, dubbed Room 39.
The National Intelligence Service declined to remark. Ryu’s defection might be an indication that the North Korean elite who shore up chief Kim Jong Un’s energy base has been drifting away from him slowly however consistently, Tae stated.
Ryu fled a number of months after Jo Song Gil, who was North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, vanished together with his spouse from the embassy and resurfaced in South Korea.
Tae advised Reuters that the data and experiences of the surface world gained as a diplomat had fostered disillusionment amongst his household, and he determined to escape to “give freedom” to his kids, calling for different officers to comply with go well with.
“I want to deliver to my colleagues working around the world and North Korean elites that there is an alternative to North Korea, and the door is open,” Tae stated in an interview on the latest Reuters Next convention.