A FORMER US marine has reportedly been arrested in Los Angeles (USA) in connection with a raid on North Korea’s embassy in Madrid.
Christopher Ahn has been named as the man arrested, according to an anonymous source quoted by AP news agency and the Washington Post.
Ahn, is thought to be a member of the North Korean dissident group Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD), which claimed responsibility for the assault. According to the newspaper, Ahn is scheduled to appear before a Los Angeles court on Friday (April 26).
It is also reported that federal agents carried out a search of the home of Adrian Hong, leader of the CCD.
Lee Wolosky, Hong’s lawyer, said he was “dismayed” by the fact that the authorities “have decided to execute court orders against U.S. citizens deriving from criminal lawsuits filed by the North Korean regime.”
He said: “The last U.S. citizen who fell into the custody of the Kim regime returned home maimed from torture and did not survive.” He was referring to Otto Warmbier, who was arrested in the Asian country in 2016 and who died shortly after his return to the U.S. in a coma in 2017.
“We have received no assurances from the U.S. government about the safety and security of the U.S. nationals it is now targeting,” he added.
The assault happened on February 22 when a group of about 10 hooded people apparently jumped a wall at the Madrid embassy.
The assailants allegedly handcuffed and beat the employees of the Legation and a group of North Korean architecture students who were there at the time – something which CCD denies.
The chief diplomat, Yu Sok So, North Korea’s chargé d’affaires in Madrid, was separated from the rest of the group by the assailants. He was taken to a room for questioning. They wanted to know what work had been done by the previous ambassador, Kim Hyok Chol, who was one of the key figures who facilitated the last meeting in Hanoi (Vietnam) between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, which ended abruptly only a few days after this event.
The assailants took several computers and documents from the building. Yun Sok So told the police that the robbers were from South Korea, that their hands had been tied, their heads covered with plastic bags and beaten.