9 January 2019
Thae Yong Ho, the former North Korean deputy ambassador to Britain who urged Seoul and Washington on Wednesday to accept an old colleague who has gone missing in Italy, following a report that he was seeking asylum in the United States. Jo Song Gil, the 44-year-old who was until recently North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November.
Jo has sought asylum in the United States and is under the protection of Italian intelligence, citing an unidentified diplomatic source. Thae urged the United States to consider Jo's case based on "international law and humanitarian principles", rather than current politics surrounding its relationship with Pyongyang.