‘Materialism Will One Day Bring Change.’ Why a Senior Defector Believes North Korea’s Days Are Numbered
An influx of capitalist culture and a swelling desire for material goods could one day spell the end for North Korea’s Kim dynasty and hasten the pariah state’s re-entry into the international community. That’s according to a high-ranking defector who spoke recently to TIME.
Thae Yong-ho, a former diplomat who held posts in Denmark, Sweden and the U.K. said that while the regime’s elusive leader, Kim Jong Un, may have no intention of undertaking reforms or giving up his nuclear weapons, change is inevitable.
Thae, who was once a member of North Korea’s elite, defected to South Korea with his wife and two sons in 2016. He lives under the protection of the South Korean government, and travels with an entourage of body guards.
As the DPRK’s deputy ambassador in London, Thae’s main responsibility was to counter criticism of Pyongyang’s human rights record and any negative media coverage. He has described becoming disenchanted with Kim Jong Un’s rule and escaped just as he was being reca..Read More