Former North Korean Diplomat: South Korea's Crackdown on Defectors a 'Great Mistake'

Former North Korean Diplomat: South Korea's Crackdown on Defectors a 'Great Mistake'


South Korea’s ban last month on the launch of anti-Pyongyang leaflets to North Korea was a “great mistake,” a former North Korean diplomat told Reuters on Monday.

Tae Yong-ho served as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain before defecting to South Korea in 2016. He told Reuters on January 11 that Seoul’s ban had cut off one of the few sources of outside information available to North Koreans.

“It’s a great mistake,” Tae Yong-ho, the first North Korean defector to be elected as a South Korean legislator, said at the Reuters Next virtual conference.

“We can only bring a change in a communist state with soft power, not military interventions or economic blockade,” he said.

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North Korean defectors and anti-Pyongyang activists in South Korea have used balloons to send humanitarian aid to North Koreans across the tightly guarded border dividing the Korean Peninsula for decades. In addition to leaflets critical of Pyongyang’s communist regime, the

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