Fox News on April 11, 2016, reported that a high-ranking officer from North Korea’s military intelligence agency fled to South Korea last year, the Seoul government confirmed. Excerpts below:
The colonel, whose name was withheld by the South Korean government, worked for the North Korean military’s General Reconnaissance Bureau. The agency is believed to be behind two deadly attacks blamed on Pyongyang that killed 50 South Koreans in 2010.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that the officer is viewed as an elite member of North Korean society by other defectors from the Communist dictatorship.
The announcement of the colonel’s defection came three days after South Korea revealed 13 North Koreans working at the same restaurant in a foreign country had defected to the South, the largest group defection since North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011. South Korean media reported the restaurant is located in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo.
Yonhap reported that a number of North Korean officials based overseas have sought asylum to avoid the wrath of dictator Kim Jong Un.
More than 29,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, according to South Korean government records. Many defectors have testified they wanted to avoid the North’s harsh political system and poverty.
Comment: The rising level of defections from North Korea and the growing threats of the regime against South Korea and the United States could be a sign of weakness. It is important that anticommunists in South Korea continue the psychological warfare campaign against the tyranny in North Korea. The regime in the north, supported by China, is a constant threat to peace and freedom in East Asia.