December 07, 2023

Interview: How the wife of a North Korean diplomat convinced him to defect

Oh Hye-son, spouse of defector-lawmaker Tae Yong-ho, shares her life story for the first time in a new memoir

Tae Yong-ho, a diplomat at the North Korean Embassy in London, made global headlines when he defected in 2016, becoming one of the highest-level officials to do so. He is now a member of South Korea’s National Assembly and arguably the most famous defector in the country.

By contrast, Tae’s wife Oh Hye-son has kept a much lower profile since they defected with their two sons, largely avoiding the public eye as her husband published a bestseller about DPRK politics and ran for office.