Monday, March 1, 2021

North Korean ambassador to Kuwait defected to South, reports say

'No matter how privileged your life is in North Korea, your mind changes when you go abroad and draw comparisons,' says one high-profile defector who fled in 2016.

Other News

Sabah, Sarawak dapat layanan adil, kata Muhyiddin

Terdapat banyak lagi usaha yang perlu dibuat bagi meletakkan kedua-dua negeri berkenaan agar setara dengan Semenanjung.

I have big support, Muhyiddin says as he marks first year as PM

He maintains that he still possesses majority support, rejecting accusations that the state of emergency was a ploy to remain in power.

Muhyiddin tetap perkukuh hubungan antarabangsa

Pandemik Covid-19 tidak bermakna negara tidak memberi perhatian dalam hubungan antarabangsa.

Darurat Covid-19 diperlukan, kata PM

'Saya pun tak tahu parti mana sekarang yang mempunyai jumlah kerusi yang lebih besar daripada saya', kata Muhyiddin.

2,437 kes positif, jumlah jangkitan Covid-19 kini melebihi 300,000

300,752 jumlah keseluruhan kes positif dilaporkan di Malaysia.

A senior North Korean diplomat who was acting ambassador to Kuwait defected to the South with his family in 2019, it emerged in reports on Monday.

Ryu Hyun Woo reached South Korea in September 2019 and sought asylum, according to the Maeil Business daily, but his defection was kept secret until now.

The Yonhap news agency confirmed Ryu had defected but said it could not confirm the timing.

Defections by senior officials are rare but about 30,000 North Koreans have fled repression and poverty for the South.

If confirmed, Ryu’s arrival would have come about two months after Jo Song Gil, the acting ambassador to North Korea’s embassy in Italy, entered South Korea after disappearing in late 2018.

“I decided to defect because I wanted to offer my child a better future,” the Maeil Business newspaper cited Jo Song Gil as saying.

Ryu was appointed acting ambassador in September 2017 after Kuwait expelled envoy So Chang Sik following the Gulf nation’s adoption of a UN resolution condemning Pyongyang’s weapons programmes.

According to reports, Ryu is the son-in-law of Jon Il Chun, the former head of Office 39, which manages the secret funds of the North Korean leadership.

Thae Yong Ho, another high-profile defector who fled his post as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the UK in 2016 and was elected a South Korean opposition MP last year, described Ryu as part of Pyongyang’s “core elite”.

But he added: “No matter how privileged your life is in North Korea, your mind changes when you go abroad and draw comparisons.”

The North tightened border security as part of its defences against Covid-19 and the number of defectors plunged in 2020.

But Thae said leader Kim Jong Un “will not be able to stop North Koreans who long for freedom from going to South Korea forever”.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Wife of North Korea’s Kim reappears in public after over a year

She often used to accompany Kim to major public events but had not been seen since January last year.

North Korea accused of hacking Pfizer for Covid-19 vaccine data

Many of the break-in attempts failed but Microsoft has warned that some have been successful.

North Korea stole US$300 million in crypto to fund nukes, say UN experts

A confidential UN report says financial institutions and exchanges were hacked to generate revenue for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

Iran, North Korea resumed missile collaboration in 2020, UN report says

This follows Pyongyang's announcement last year of preparation for the testing and production of new ballistic missile warheads and development of tactical nuclear weapons.

South Korea extending Covid-19 curbs over CNY holidays

A large outbreak emerged from missionary training schools across the country last week.