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North Korean envoys separated from their daughter, former ambassador's claims

Thae Yong Ho, who fled his post as North Korea's Vice Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2016, said Jo Song Gil, a former envoy to Rome, "could not leave Italy with his children and North Korea has called his children back to North Korea "19659002] Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Thae said a source in Pyongyang" said that Jos's daughter was in North Korea during state custody, as he said, explained Jos's disappearance since he fled into the Rome Embassy last year. "Today, Jo cannot reveal where he is or engage in public activity because he must fear his daughter's security," Thae said. He added that while he had previously called on Jo to join him in Seoul, he would no longer advocate this, because "the level of punishment against the family left behind by diplomats who failed to South Korea or the United States is very different". [1 9659002] "I couldn't keep the demand that Jo came to South Korea since I found out that Jos's daughter is in North Korea," he said. In a statement, the Italian Foreign Ministry said it had received a message from the North Korean embassy that Jo and his wife had left the Embassy on November 10 "and that their daughter, after requesting to return to her country for her grandparents, had returned there on November 14, 2018, accompanied by female embassy staff. " Defector central Last month, Thae and a number of other prominent North Korean defects in Italian and southern…

Thae Yong Ho, who fled his post as North Korea’s Vice Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2016, said Jo Song Gil, a former envoy to Rome, “could not leave Italy with his children and North Korea has called his children back to North Korea “19659002] Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Thae said a source in Pyongyang” said that Jos’s daughter was in North Korea during state custody, as he said, explained Jos’s disappearance since he fled into the Rome Embassy last year.

“Today, Jo cannot reveal where he is or engage in public activity because he must fear his daughter’s security,” Thae said. He added that while he had previously called on Jo to join him in Seoul, he would no longer advocate this, because “the level of punishment against the family left behind by diplomats who failed to South Korea or the United States is very different”. [1

9659002] “I couldn’t keep the demand that Jo came to South Korea since I found out that Jos’s daughter is in North Korea,” he said.

In a statement, the Italian Foreign Ministry said it had received a message from the North Korean embassy that Jo and his wife had left the Embassy on November 10 “and that their daughter, after requesting to return to her country for her grandparents, had returned there on November 14, 2018, accompanied by female embassy staff. “

Defector central

Last month, Thae and a number of other prominent North Korean defects in Italian and southern Korean governments called to protect Jo, whose whereabouts is unknown.

There are about 30,000 North Korean defects and refugees registered with the South Korean government.

While many defects are being integrated into South Korean society and not participating in politics, a significant minority work is working to encourage and assist others to leave North, and some are also involved in anti-Pyongyang activities and propaganda organizations, several of which were represented at the press conference. Wednesday.

Such groups have previously been criticized for undermining the peace process and counteracting Pyongyang, especially those trying to transfer anti-regime propaganda to the north. For its part, many defector groups criticize the South Korean government for playing human rights in their communication with North Korean officials.

Thae was the most high-profile defector this year as he fled the country’s embassy in Britain in 2016, seeking protection for the Korean government before moving to Seoul, where he has become a prominent critic of Kim Jong’s regime.

The former deputy ambassador has also called on other senior officials to abandon Pyongyang.

New cleansing

The cost of getting South Korea to become defective can be very high, with many reports of the subsequent family members of defectors being penalized and the pressure imposed on them to convince their relatives to return to North Korea.

Kim Jong Un has kept a strong grip on the power of North Korea since he succeeded his father in 2011 and defied the expectations of some analysts who expected him to be a weak leader controlled from the shadows of the country’s elite military and political figures.

A new report released this week by the North Korean Strategic Center (NKSC), a Seoul-based tanker based by North Korean defectors, claimed that Kim has carried out or cleared hundreds of officials since taking office, including members of the elite and military.

CNN could not independently confirm the contents of the report. Benefits within North Korea, especially those involving the country’s political systems, are notoriously opaque and difficult to read, even for experts. Officials previously reported to have been executed have become vivid and cautious predictions of Kim’s policies have proved to be false.

The report claimed that hundreds of senior officials have been executed since Kim came to power, while 38 officials have been cleared. The NKSC said its results were based on interviews with 14 high defects, five other defects and six North Korean travel officials to China, the country’s closest allies.

Tight grasp of power

In his New Year’s address last month, Kim said the members of the ruling Labor Party should “intensify the struggle to eradicate both serious and trivial cases of abuse of power, bureaucracy and corruption that would be devastating against the party’s and masses’ harmonious wholeness and undermining the socialist system. “

Kim also praised the summit” Historic, first-ever (North Korea) -US summit and talks led to a dramatic turn in the bilateral relationship that was the most hostile on earth . “The North Korean leader will meet with the US President once next week in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, as both Kim and Trump are looking to recycle energy in their first meeting in Singapore with negotiations on North Korean denuclearisation and a peace treaty to finally end the Korean War.

US security adviser John Bolton will travel to South Korea this week for a pre-summit meeting with key personnel in Seoul. Bolton has long been a skeptic of a diplomatic resolution to North Korea’s nuclear war and has made clear that Kim has not yet taken concrete action against nuclear power.

In Washington, those near Trump see tempering his expectations, with some assistants doubtless another summit may live up to the original, which was historic after decades of hostility between the two countries. A second meeting will never be quite the same, some have warned the president, hoping to alleviate his expectations.

CNN’s James Griffiths, Yoonjung Seo and Kevin Liptak contributed to reporting.


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