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A diplomatic crisis between Italy and North Korea is brewing over the alleged abduction of the 17-year-old daughter of Jo Song Gil, who until November was North Korea’s ambassador to Rome.
Jo and his wife fled the embassy in November shortly before he was due to be recalled to Pyongyang, raising suspicions he defected from the Communist tyranny. A well-known defector, former diplomat Thae Yong-ho, alleges Jo’s daughter was kidnapped from Rome by North Korean agents and forcibly returned to Pyongyang before she could be reunited with her parents.
Authorities - Home - Custody - Pyongyang - Thae
“North Korean authorities sent her back home immediately and she’s now under their custody in Pyongyang,” Thae said at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday, sourcing the claim to contacts he maintains in Pyongyang.
“I don’t know how many children Jo has, but the child that was in Italy was sent back North,” Thae told South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo on Wednesday.
Jo - Wife - Italy - Country - Asylum
“Jo and his wife are together now,” he added, although neither Italy nor any other country has yet announced a formal asylum request from the couple.
Thae said he warned the United Nations and the South Korean embassy in Italy that Jo and his family needed protection. At his press conference in Seoul, he suggested Jo’s daughter is now a hostage and will be treated much more harshly if her father takes residence...
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