Anger over treatment of fellow North Korean defectors spurred ex-official to run for office in South

North Korean defector Thae Yong Ho speaks to foreign correspondents in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. KIM GAMEL/STARS AND STRIPES
North Korean defector Thae Yong Ho speaks to foreign correspondents in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. KIM GAMEL/STARS AND STRIPES

Anger over treatment of fellow North Korean defectors spurred ex-official to run for office in South

by Kim Gamel
Stars and Stripes

SEOUL, South Korea — Frustration over South Korea’s treatment of fellow defectors and other policies toward North Korea prompted one of the most senior officials to flee the communist state to run for parliament in his new homeland.

Thae Yong Ho, a former minister at North Korea’s embassy in London who escaped to Seoul in 2016, said Wednesday that his “triggering point” was the South’s decision to repatriate two North Korean fishermen accused of killing 16 shipmates in November.

The case prompted criticism by international human rights groups and defectors’ advocates who said the men shouldn’t have been sent back to a country where they stood no chance of a fair trial.

“I was very much shocked by the news that two young North Koreans were returned,” Thae said at a press conference in Seoul. “I couldn’t sleep that night.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.619217

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