Start Asia The current location of the North Korean Embassy’s business dealee in Italy

The current location of the North Korean Embassy’s business dealee in Italy

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North Korean

A senior North Korean diplomat has disappeared for several weeks, according to South Korean intelligence officials.

The current location of the North Korean Embassy’s business dealee in Italy, Jo Song Gil, and his wife are unknown, Deputy Kim Min Ki reported on Thursday, according to reports from South Korean broadcasters. The secret service had informed him and other deputies behind closed doors about the case. The South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo previously reported that Jo had asked for asylum in a third country in early December for himself and his family.

According to the newspaper, Jo apparently used an opportunity to break away after the government ordered him back in Pyongyang. He is under the protection of the Italian authorities. Whether he wants to settle for South Korea is unclear. According to information from the intelligence service, Jo and his wife left the embassy grounds at an unknown destination at the beginning of November. There was no contact with the South Korean government.

According to circles from the Italian Foreign Ministry, the ministry had been informed „at one time“ about a change of embassy officials. An asylum application of a high-ranking diplomat did not exist in the past weeks.

As the South Korean broadcasters further reported, since October 2017 Jo has led the embassy in Rome, after Italy has expelled the actual North Korean Ambassador Mun Jong Nam after the country’s sixth nuclear test the previous month. When asked if the diplomat continued to be in Rome, there was no answer from the Foreign Ministry in Rome.

Jo would be the highest diplomat from the largely sealed-off country since 2016, whose flight would be known. At that time, the Deputy North Korean ambassador to London and his family had gone to South Korea. Reports of the flight of high-ranking North Korean government officials are rare. However, South Korean media reported last year that since 2015, an undetermined number of diplomats have come from North Korea to South Korea.