While Kim Jong-un keeps the world at the edge of its seat with nuclear threats, for the last few months, its diplomats in South America sexually harassed minors and plotted to assassinate the families of American officials, diplomatic sources told Infobae.
It all started last year, when the Peruvian police received a complaint of sexual harassment from a minor. The report accused Pak Myong Chol, the first secretary of the North Korean embassy in Lima, of sexually harassing a 14-year-old child.
The child’s family submitted proof of the messages that Chol sent the minor, and in a few days, security forces wiretapped the diplomat’s phones and began to listen to his calls and read the texts that he sent.
However, by the time Peruvian officials acted upon the complaint, Myong Chol was more than the first secretary of the embassy, he was the ambassador.
Along with North Korea’s warmongering and as part of the international effort to isolate the Kim dictatorship, relations between Perú and North Korea became more tense. Along with Brazil, México, Cuba and Venezuela, Perú is one of five Latin American countries that houses a north Korean embassy on their territory. In March of last year, the government of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had ordered a reduction of diplomatic personnel in the DPRK embassy to just three people. In September, after North Korea’s missile tests, the Peruvian president declared North Korea’s ambassador Kim Hak-Chol a persona non grata, ordering him to leave the country. México’s government did the same thing.
After his expulsion, Myong Chol became the North Korean diplomat with the highest position of power in Lima.
At this point, the Peruvian government was still tapping Chol’s phones. The calls confirmed that Chol was in fact harassing a minor, and also something even more sinister. Chol and the third secretary Ji Hyok had been working on a joint task force with leaders of Peru’s Patria Roja (PR), one of the main branches of Peru’s Communist Party.
PR is known in Peru for supporting authoritarian regimes, like in Iran and North Korea, while they strongly oppose the governments of the US and Israel, among others.
In the conversations that the Peruvian police heard, the North Korean diplomats and PR’s Marxist-Leninist leaders had made plans to “attack the family members, such as wives and children, of United States diplomatic officials in Lima.” They even speculated about the possibility of “killing them” in the event that the crisis between North Korea and the United States escalated and a conflict broke out between the two countries, Peruvian diplomatic sources revealed to Infobae.
On December 22, President Kuczynski declared Myong Chol and Hyok personas non grata in Peru, giving them 15 days to leave the country. The diplomats had crossed a previously untouched criminal border, even for North Korea, in countries that hosted their diplomats.
“The government of Perú takes this measure having verified that diplomatic personnel of this embassy had carried out activities incompatible with their diplomatic functions,” read the official statement that ordered the diplomats’ expulsion.
“This decision is based on the DPRK’s continuous violations of the UN Security Council, including the recently adopted Resolution 2397. At the same time, by constantly ignoring the International Community’s calls to comply with their obligations, including to respect International Law and end the nuclear program, which has put peace and regional and international security at risk,” the text added.
The story that Infobae has revealed demonstrates the North Korean dictatorship’s desperation and international isolation, ready to plot with minor groups of the radicalized left, even attacking women and children if necessary.
Sources from the Peruvian Foreign Ministry confirmed to Infobae that Myong Chol and Hyok left the country just hours before Infobae published the original story January 13.
The US ambassador in Perú, Krishna Urs, has decided to maintain a low profile and not comment on the matter, for now.
This article was originally published in Spanish on Infobae.