'Kim Han-sol escaped with help of anti-North Korea group' - The Korea Times
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'Kim Han-sol escaped with help of anti-North Korea group'

By Lee Min-hyung

Kim Han-sol, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam
Kim Han-sol, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam
Kim Han-sol, the son of the assassinated half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reportedly contacted the de facto leader of an anti-North Korea political organization for help with an "emergency escape" to an undisclosed location after his father was killed in Malaysia in 2017.

In video footage of Han-sol, he is seen expressing gratitude to Adrian Hong Chang, known as the leader of Free Joseon, for the group's assistance in his escape.

"I am very grateful for Adrian and his team for the help," Han-sol said in the video released by local news outlet Channel A.

The video also showed parts of his passport that were signed by Choe Myong-nam, deputy director of the North's foreign ministry. Choe was serving as Pyongyang's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva at the time Han-sol's father Kim Jong-nam was killed with nerve poison.

No other details have been shared through the footage, but Free Joseon claimed in a statement that Han-sol's "urgent rescue request" was sent immediately to the organization, as its team is very skilled and active internationally.

"We have secured footholds across the world, including Pyongyang, over the past decade to ensure speedy and accurate actions," the organization said in the statement.

"We rescued Han-sol upon his request on humanitarian grounds," it said. A group of officials, including Christopher Ahn who was staying in a neighboring country at the time, were also mobilized for the mission, according to Free Joseon.

Ahn, an American-born former U.S. Marine, was arrested last month in Los Angeles. He is accused of breaking into North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain, with other members of the group in February. They stole computers and documents there.

The whereabouts of Adrian Hong Chang are still unknown following the raid. He is currently wanted by Spain.

After the raid took place, attention has been drawn to the secretive group and its leader. Free Joseon, previously known as Cheollima Civil Defense, was established in March 2017. The group has since taken part in a string of clandestine activities opposing the Kim Jong-un regime and its dictatorship.

About a month after the raid, North Korea released its official stance, saying it would "patiently wait" for the results of the investigation into the "terrorists."

Jong-nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-un is suspected to have ordered his agents to assassinate Jong-nam in February at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, but no clear evidence has been found to confirm this.

Following the incident, calls have grown for the need to protect the victim's family members, including Han-sol.


By Lee Min-hyung

Kim Han-sol, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam
Kim Han-sol, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam
Kim Han-sol, the son of the assassinated half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reportedly contacted the de facto leader of an anti-North Korea political organization for help with an "emergency escape" to an undisclosed location after his father was killed in Malaysia in 2017.

In video footage of Han-sol, he is seen expressing gratitude to Adrian Hong Chang, known as the leader of Free Joseon, for the group's assistance in his escape.

"I am very grateful for Adrian and his team for the help," Han-sol said in the video released by local news outlet Channel A.

The video also showed parts of his passport that were signed by Choe Myong-nam, deputy director of the North's foreign ministry. Choe was serving as Pyongyang's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva at the time Han-sol's father Kim Jong-nam was killed with nerve poison.

No other details have been shared through the footage, but Free Joseon claimed in a statement that Han-sol's "urgent rescue request" was sent immediately to the organization, as its team is very skilled and active internationally.

"We have secured footholds across the world, including Pyongyang, over the past decade to ensure speedy and accurate actions," the organization said in the statement.

"We rescued Han-sol upon his request on humanitarian grounds," it said. A group of officials, including Christopher Ahn who was staying in a neighboring country at the time, were also mobilized for the mission, according to Free Joseon.

Ahn, an American-born former U.S. Marine, was arrested last month in Los Angeles. He is accused of breaking into North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain, with other members of the group in February. They stole computers and documents there.

The whereabouts of Adrian Hong Chang are still unknown following the raid. He is currently wanted by Spain.

After the raid took place, attention has been drawn to the secretive group and its leader. Free Joseon, previously known as Cheollima Civil Defense, was established in March 2017. The group has since taken part in a string of clandestine activities opposing the Kim Jong-un regime and its dictatorship.

About a month after the raid, North Korea released its official stance, saying it would "patiently wait" for the results of the investigation into the "terrorists."

Jong-nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-un is suspected to have ordered his agents to assassinate Jong-nam in February at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, but no clear evidence has been found to confirm this.

Following the incident, calls have grown for the need to protect the victim's family members, including Han-sol.


Lee Min-hyung mhlee@koreatimes.co.kr

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