March 18, 2019 13:32
A dramatic raid on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid last month has been blamed on a guerrilla group sometimes calling itself Cheollima Civil Defense.
On Feb. 22, the embassy in the suburbs of Madrid was raided by a group of unidentified men who tied up the staff and held them hostage before fleeing with computers and mobile phones.
The Washington Post Friday quoted inside sources as saying the raid was carried out by the secretive group committed to overthrowing the Kim Jong-un regime.
The daily said, "The group's alleged role in the attack has not previously been reported... But in recent days, rumors have swirled about the motivations behind the attack in the Spanish media, including a report in El Pais alleging that two of the masked assailants have ties to the CIA." "The raid represents the most ambitious operation to date for an obscure organization," it added.
Citing a North Korea expert, the daily said that the computers the group seized "could have contacts and documents related to North Korea's efforts to bypass sanctions and import luxury goods from Europe, which was one of the key assignments for Kim Hyok-chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain."
The group also possesses "a video recording they took during the raid, which could release at any time," it added citing an anonymous source.
The group is believed to have rescued the children of Kim's half-brother Kim Jong-nam after the latter was assassinated by North Korean agents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2017. More recently it has gone by the name Free Joseon.
"I understand that the group also consists of even members of the Kim dynasty who have gone into exile in the U.S. and Europe," a source said. "They've thrown down the gauntlet to Kim Jong-un over his legitimacy."
In a message on its website on Sunday, the group asked "all journalists" to keep the identity of its members secret.
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