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Russia-based N. Korean diplomat defects to S. Korea with FX holding: source

All Headlines 20:52 September 01, 2016

MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean diplomat who was reported to have defected from his post in Russia last month entered South Korea with his family and huge holdings of foreign currency, a source said Thursday.

"The diplomat involved in Pyongyang's trade representatives under its consulate general in Vladivostok defected and went to South Korea via a third country," the source said.

The first secretary-level diplomat brought a "considerable" sum of foreign currency with him to the South along with his wife and children, according to the source.

The foreign exchange holding was the trade representatives' foreign earnings.

The source said North Korean diplomats affiliated with trade often belong to the North Korean trade ministry and carry out work to procure goods in the foreign market and send them back to the home country.

The diplomat's defection took place earlier than the widely published defection of Thae Yong-ho, a minister at the North Korean Embassy in London, as well as that of another Russia-based diplomat with a third-secretary rank, known as Kim Cheol-sung, the source noted.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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