Thae Yong-Ho

Former North Korean diplomat

Thae Yong-Ho is a North Korean-born South Korean politician and the former deputy ambassador of North Korea to the United Kingdom. He is the highest-ranking official to have ever defected from North Korea, fleeing to the South with his wife and two children in 2016. Following his defection, the North Korean regime accused him of a litany of ill-founded crimes, including embezzlement and rape of a minor, and unsuccessfully attempted to have him extradited. In 2018, he published “Cryptography From the Third-Floor Secretariat,” a memoir about his life as a North Korean diplomat and one of the few best-selling books authored by a North Korean in South Korea. In 2020, he became the first North Korean defector to be elected into the South Korean parliament.

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