Senior N.Korean Defector 'Was Motivated by His Kids'

      August 23, 2016 09:17

      Thae Yong-ho /Yonhap

      The National Intelligence Service here on Monday said the North Korean Embassy in London's No. 2 man defected because he feared for the future of his children if they went to North Korea.

      Pyongyang recently ordered diplomats overseas to send any children over 25 back to North Korea, and Thae Yong-ho's eldest son is 26.

      "We understand that Thae made up his mind to defect after that," a senior NIS officer told the National Assembly.

      But Thae had become disillusioned about the regime for some time and toyed with the idea of defecting, a lawmaker quoted the officer as saying.

      More details about Thae's defection will become available next month.

      Thae's eldest son has a degree in public health from Hammersmith Hospital in West London, according to the British press.

      His second son Kum-hyok (19) attended Acton High School in West London, where he was a straight-A student, and had landed a place at Imperial College to study math and computer engineering.

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