N.Korea diplomat missing in Italy

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N.Korea diplomat missing in Italy



A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.


A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.

The diplomat, Jo Song Gil, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November, according to Kim Min-ki, a South Korean lawmaker who was briefed by the National Intelligence Service.

Earlier on Thursday, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, citing an unidentified diplomatic source, said Jo, 48, had applied for asylum to an unspecified Western country and was in a "safe place" with his family under the protection of the Italian government.

A senior diplomatic source in Rome said Italy's foreign ministry knew nothing about the reports. A second diplomatic source said the ministry had no record of Jo seeking asylum in Italy. The source added that North Korea had announced in late 2018 that it was sending a new envoy to Rome.

If confirmed, Jo would join a slowly growing list of senior diplomats who have sought to flee the impoverished, oppressive North under the rule of Kim Jong Un. (Reuters)

The entrance to North Korea's embassy in Italy is pictured on January 3, 2019 in Rome. - North Korea's top diplomat in Italy has sought asylum and gone into hiding, Seoul lawmakers told reporters after a closed-door meeting with South Korean intelligence officials on January 3. AFP


The flag of North Korea is pictured on the facade of North Korea's embassy in Italy on January 3, 2019 in Rome. AFP







A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.


A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.

The diplomat, Jo Song Gil, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November, according to Kim Min-ki, a South Korean lawmaker who was briefed by the National Intelligence Service.

Earlier on Thursday, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, citing an unidentified diplomatic source, said Jo, 48, had applied for asylum to an unspecified Western country and was in a "safe place" with his family under the protection of the Italian government.

A senior diplomatic source in Rome said Italy's foreign ministry knew nothing about the reports. A second diplomatic source said the ministry had no record of Jo seeking asylum in Italy. The source added that North Korea had announced in late 2018 that it was sending a new envoy to Rome.

If confirmed, Jo would join a slowly growing list of senior diplomats who have sought to flee the impoverished, oppressive North under the rule of Kim Jong Un. (Reuters)

The entrance to North Korea's embassy in Italy is pictured on January 3, 2019 in Rome. - North Korea's top diplomat in Italy has sought asylum and gone into hiding, Seoul lawmakers told reporters after a closed-door meeting with South Korean intelligence officials on January 3. AFP


The flag of North Korea is pictured on the facade of North Korea's embassy in Italy on January 3, 2019 in Rome. AFP





Choi Won-suk wschoi@koreatimes.co.kr


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