PYONGYANG, North Korea, Aug. 20 (UPI) — North Korea labeled a high-ranking U.K.-based diplomat “human scum” after he defected from the country and was sent to South Korea.
According to the BBC, the Korean Central News Agency accused Thae Yong Ho, deputy envoy to London, of defecting to escape charges for leaking secrets, embezzlement and child rape.
While they did not mention Thae by name, KCNA said he “should have received legal punishment for the crimes he committed, but he discarded the fatherland that raised him and even his own parents and brothers by fleeing, thinking nothing but just saving himself, showing himself to be human scum who lacks even an elementary level of loyalty and even tiny bits of conscience and morality that are required for human beings.”
According to the Guardian, North Korea also denounced the British government for its decision to send Thae and his family to South Korea.
KCNA said Britain tainted its image as a law-abiding nation by refusing to return Thae and “handing over the fugitives without passports to the South Korean puppets and neglecting its duty to protect diplomats living in its own country.”
Thae, the highest-ranking North Korean official ever to defect, had been sent to the U.K. to spread positive perceptions of North Korea and its leadership.
On Friday pro-North Korea spokesman Kim Myong Chol said South Korean spies may have used bribes and coercion, including kidnapping Thae’s children, to pressure him into defecting.
South Korea announced Thae and his family arrived in the country on Wednesday as he explained his reason for defecting to South Korea spokesman Jeong Joon-hee.
“On his reasons for defection, Minister Thae cited disgust with Kim Jong-un’s regime, admiration for South Korea’s free, democratic system and the future of his family,” Jeong said.