North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-Ho wore many hats while working in London. He not only engaged in diplomacy but became active in propaganda and PR campaigns for the North Korean regime. Monitoring defectors and human rights activists was also part of his job. His role conveniently included surveillance of embassy staff, who usually end up squatting in close quarters to save on living expenses. He was the watcher who kept tabs on everyone. His escape may have been made possible by the special role he played as well as the prominence of his wife’s family — while living abroad for 10 years, Thae was able to keep his family together, thus being in a position to defect.

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