February 21, 2024

Senior North Korean diplomat in Italy missing, believed to have defected: NIS

Jo Song Gil previously reported to have fled embassy, "claimed asylum" in Rome

A senior North Korean diplomat in Rome has been missing since late 2018 and is believed to have defected, officials from South Korea's National Intelligence Agency (NIS) were reported to have said on Thursday.

Senior NIS officials were quoted by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency and other outlets as having told a lawmaker that Seoul believes Jo Song Gil, who served as chargé d'affaires for the North Korean embassy in Rome, is believed to have defected in November 2018.