>> A North Korean diplomat who until recently was acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing. That coming from a South Korean member of parliament on Thursday. The revelation follows a South Korean newspaper report that the diplomat was seeking asylum in the west. The paper said Joe
had applied for asylum to an unspecified western country, and was now in a safe place, and that his family is now under the protection of the Italian government.
Joe vanished with his wife after leaving the embassy unexpectedly in early November, according to a South Korean lawmaker, briefed by the National Intelligence Service. But senior diplomatic sources in Rome said Italy's foreign ministry knew nothing about the reports and that at the end of last year North Korea said it would send a new envoy to Rome a quote perfectly normal procedure.
If Joe's disappearance is confirmed his name would join a slowly growing list of senior diplomats who To have sought to flee the impoverished, oppressive country under the rule of Kim Jong-un. Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean deputy ambassador to Britain defected with his family to South Korea in 2016.
The highest ranking diplomat to do so. North Korea forced its' diplomat stationed overseas to leave children at home off to Kim took power in the late 2011. In 2018 memoir taste that was the main reason behind his defection calling it a hostage scheme.