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Concern for Son’s Education Drove North Korean Diplomat to Defect

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that one of the main motivations for the defection of Thae Young Ho, North Korea’s high ranking diplomat and minister to Britain, was his worry about the education plan for his second son. Thae was due to return to Pyongyang this summer; however, his 19-year-old son, Kim Hyok was about to enter college this year for math and computer engineering. Kim Hyok is an A+ student who was born in Denmark and lived in Sweden and Britain for much of his childhood. Thae Young Ho made his decision to defect to South Korea for the sake of his son’s future. Meanwhile, some other sources reported that a significant financial burden could be another issue for Thae Young Ho. He complained in a public speech some time back that the monthly cost of rent in Britain meant he could only afford a public housing unit with two bedrooms with a very narrow kitchen. The Sina report did not mention any political motivation for the defection. 
Source: Sina, August 18, 2016