For the sake of their children’s future! Acting Ambassador to Kuwait defected to South Korea

Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korean sources revealed on 25 June that North Korea’s former Chargé d’affaires in Kuwait has defected to South Korea and is now living in the South.

After the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on sanctions against North Korea in September 2017, the then North Korean ambassador to Kuwait, Seo Chang-sik, was expelled from the country, after which Ryu Hyun-woo, who was acting as ambassador and held the diplomatic rank of counsellor, defected to South Korea with his Family. Yoo Hyun-woo was not his real name, but the name he changed when he entered the South Korean registry.

He decided to join South Korea mainly because of his children’s future. The person in charge of the case said that he has no comment on the statement that he abandoned North Korea and joined South Korea.

It is known that Ryu Hyun-woo is the son-in-law of Jeon Il-chun, the former head of the North Korean Labor Party’s Office 39, which was responsible for managing the funds of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s rule, owning major North Korean financial institutions such as Koryo Bank and other key companies, as well as being in charge of foreign exchange generation, suspected of drug trafficking and counterfeiting 100 dollar bills.

Chun was removed in 2017 after the European Union placed him on its personal sanctions blacklist in December 2010 for assisting North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and he was no longer fit to manage money. Data released by South Korea’s Ministry of Unification in January 2018 on “Changes in North Korea’s power structure” showed that the head of Office 39 changed to Shin Yong-man.