North Korean diplomat vanishes, reportedly seeks asylum in West

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

 / Updated 

By Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy went into hiding with his wife in November, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers in Seoul on Thursday.

A high-profile defection by one of North Korea’s elite would be a huge embarrassment for leader Kim Jong Un as he pursues diplomacy with Seoul and Washington and seeks to portray himself as a player in international geopolitics.

Jan. 1, 201901:07

South Korean lawmaker Kim Min-ki said an official from Seoul’s National Intelligence Service shared the information during a closed-door briefing. Kim Min-ki did not say whether the spy agency revealed any information about diplomat Jo Song Gil’s current whereabouts or whether he had plans to defect to South Korea.

The NIS earlier said it couldn’t confirm a South Korean media report that Jo was under the protection of the Italian government as he seeks asylum in a Western nation.

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?