North Korea Keeps Quiet About Madrid Embassy Raid

N.Korea Keeps Quiet About Madrid Embassy Raid

english.chosun.com

North Korea has kept conspicuously silent about a humiliating raid on its embassy in Madrid by a shadowy dissident group on Feb. 22.

The silence could be a measure of how threatened the regime feels by the apparently well-connected group, which calls itself Free Jeoson and is using modern guerrilla tactics instead of the staid strategies of more conventional defector groups.

According to sources, a prominent member is Kim Han-sol, the son of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam who was assassinated by North Korean agents in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

The group said it is protecting the North Korean leader’s nephew and also managed to spray graffiti on the North Korean Embassy in the Malaysian capital on the day that one of Kim Jong-nam’s assassins was released.

It is hard to see how the regime could spin these events without triggering widespread rumors within North Korea and drawing attention to the group, which has declared itself the interim government-in-exile of the North.

Free Jeoson, named for North Korea’s conventional name for itself, this week claimed responsibility for the raid and said it shared information it stole from the Madrid embassy with the FBI.

Nam Joo-hong at Kyonggi University said, “Pyongyang is still keeping mum about the attack because it’s still recovering from the shock.”

That the burglars made off with computers, phones and other files “is very serious,” Nam added. “It must be also difficult for the regime to even mention a dissident group as the culprit.”

The regime may also fear a threat to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy if North Koreans realize that there are other direct descendants of revered founder Kim Il-sung who could offer them an alternative future.

One theory why Kim Jong-nam was assassinated is that China was quietly setting him up as an alternative leader for North Korea if the regime refused to reform.

The group said it is protecting the North Korean leader’s nephew and also managed to spray graffiti on the North Korean Embassy in the Malaysian capital on the day that one of Kim Jong-nam’s assassins was released.

english.chosun.com

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