N. Korea Defector Among Trusted Elite

N. Korea defector among trusted elite

SEOUL,(APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Augst,2016) - A privileged background and powerful connections with the ruling elite back in Pyongyang appear to have provided the springboard for North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-Ho's successful defection to South Korea, analysts said Thursday. Thae, the number two at the North Korean embassy in Britain, is one of the highest ranking diplomats ever to defect to the South -- gifting Seoul a major propaganda coup at a time of rising tension on the divided Korean peninsula. Any defection by a ranking member of an overseas North Korean mission would make waves, but London is considered a particularly prestigious posting that puts Thae's move on a whole different level.

"The embassy in London is reserved only for some of the foreign ministry's top officials," said Victor Cha, director of Asian studies for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Previous ambassadors to Britain include North Korea's recently appointed foreign minister, Ri Yong-Ho. "In this regard, Thae's defection represents the flight of some of the North's best and brightest -- their diplomatic cream of the crop," Cha said.