North Korea’s deputy ambassador in London has defected with his family, according to media reports, which if confirmed would make it one of the most high-profile defections in recent years from the increasingly isolated country,
South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported on Tuesday, August 16 that a high-profile diplomat in the UK defected with his wife and son to a “third country”. The BBC named the defector as veteran diplomat Thae Yong Ho, a counselor at the North Korean embassy and deputy to the ambassador.
Citing an anonymous source, JoongAng Ilbo said the representative left on a deserting venture "taking after a careful arrangement" and was "arriving in a third nation as a refuge seeker."
It was not clear from the daily paper report whether the third nation was the UK. The term is normally utilized as a part of South Korean media to allude to a nation which is neither North nor South Korea.
An authority at the North Korean international safe haven in London would not affirm the abandonment, portraying reports of the occasion as "very sudden".
"On the off chance that it is fitting to give a reaction, then you may catch wind of our reaction," the authority told Reuters.
Further calls to the international safe haven went unanswered. Calls to Thae's cellular telephone were diverted to a voice message inbox.
Thae's accounted for deserting takes after a string of late such flights by North Koreans, including twelve servers at a North Korean eatery in China who surrendered to South Korea recently.
Those servers have completed a delayed time of examination and will soon go into ordinary society, an authority at South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday.
The quantity of surrenders by North Koreans toward the South has totaled 814 up to and including July this year, a yearly increment of 15 percent, a Unification Ministry official told Reuters.
In general, the quantity of defectors, for the most part from the region close North Korea's outskirt with China, has declined since pioneer Kim Jong Un took power taking after his dad's passing in late 2011.
"The master plan is that while there have been less aggregate abandonments every year under Kim Jong Un, there have been a higher number of deliberately critical and political rebellions," said Sokeel Park of LiNK, a NGO which works with North Korean defectors.