N. Korean General Defects Seeking Political Asylum

A general who was in charge of managing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s overseas slush funds is said to be in China after escaping from his country, and is seeking political asylum with two other North Koreans in a country other than South Korea. A source said that the three were separated from a diplomat from Pyongyang, who is seeking his own defection to another country.

Report: It has been made known that a general escaped from North Korea and is seeking political asylum in a country other than South Korea.

A source in China, who works in collaboration with Seoul government officials, on Thursday revealed the recent defection of the general, a diplomat and two others.

The source said that the North Korean military officer was in charge of managing Kim Jong-un’s slush funds in Southeast Asia.

The general was in China on a business trip when he was joined by the three other North Koreans on July 12th.

The diplomat is known to have parted ways with the group and is seeking political asylum in a country other than South Korea, while the other three are staying in China, making their own plans to defect to another country.

The latest escape marks the first known case of a North Korean general’s defection from the reclusive regime. Last year, a North Korean colonel defected to the South.

The source said the four didn’t choose to defect to South Korea partly because of a petition by the Lawyers for a Democratic Society filed last month for habeas corpus relief of 12 North Korean restaurant workers in China who defected to Seoul in April.

The source said that the four North Koreans decided to leave their country due to their dissatisfaction with the Kim Jong-un regime and pessimistic views about the future of the country.

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Nicolas Levi

Analyst on North Korean issues

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