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SEOUL– North Korea’s acting ambassador to Kuwait has defected to South Korea, the current in a recent string of high-profile escapes from the separated country, a South Korean lawmaker stated on Monday.

Ryu Hyun Woo had actually led North Korea’s embassy in Kuwait because previous Ambassador So Chang Sik was expelled after a 2017 U.N. resolution looked for to downsize the nation’s overseas diplomatic missions.

Ryu defected to South Korea last September, according to Tae Yong Ho, who was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain prior to settling in the South in 2016 and being chosen as a legislator in 2015.

Kuwait had been a key source of foreign currency for Pyongyang, which sent out thousands of laborers there, mainly for building and construction jobs.

Tae stated Ryu is also the son-in-law of Jon Il Chun, who when supervised a Worker’s Party bureau responsible for handling the ruling Kim household’s secret coffers, called Space 39.

The National Intelligence Service declined to comment.

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Ryu’s defection could be an indication that the North Korean elite who support leader Kim Jong Un’s power base has actually been drifting away from him slowly however constantly, Tae stated.

Ryu left a number of months after Jo Song Gil, who was North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, vanished with his wife from the embassy and resurfaced in South Korea.

Tae told Reuters that the knowledge and experiences of the outside world got as a diplomat had actually fostered disillusionment amongst his family, and he decided to leave to “give flexibility” to his children, calling for other officials to follow suit.

” I want to provide to my colleagues working around the globe and North Korean elites that there is an alternative to North Korea, and the door is open,” Tae said in an interview at the recent Reuters Next conference.

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