WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have arrested a former U.S. Marine who’s a member of a gaggle that allegedly raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February and stole electronics, two sources acquainted with the arrest stated on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: A Spanish National Police automotive is seen outdoors the North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, Spain February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo
Christopher Ahn was arrested on Thursday and appeared on Friday in federal courtroom in Los Angeles, in accordance to a regulation enforcement official and a supply shut to the group.
In a associated growth, armed U.S. federal brokers on Thursday raided the condominium of Adrian Hong, chief of Cheolima Civil Defense, a gaggle in search of the overthrow of North Korean chief Kim Jong Un that’s blamed for the Feb. 22 embassy raid, an individual shut to the group stated with out offering extra particulars. Hong was not current at his residence when the raid occurred, the supply stated.
The U.S. Justice Department declined to remark.
A bunch of at the very least 10 folks stormed into the embassy, restrained and bodily beat some personnel and held them hostage for hours earlier than fleeing, in accordance to a Spanish courtroom.
Spanish investigators have stated the intruders eliminated computer systems and onerous drives from the embassy earlier than fleeing to the United States, the place they handed over the fabric to the FBI.
A Spanish judicial supply stated this week the fabric had been returned by Spanish authorities to Pyongyang’s mission after being returned two weeks beforehand by the FBI to the Spanish courtroom investigating the raid.
The anti-Kim group, which additionally calls itself Free Joseon, stated the raid was not an assault and that it had been invited into the embassy.
The incident got here at a delicate time, simply days forward of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at which the U.S. chief failed to make progress in efforts to persuade North Korea to surrender a nuclear weapons program.
North Korea’s overseas ministry denounced the incident a “grave terrorist attack” and cited rumors that the FBI was partially behind the raid. The U.S. State Department has stated Washington had nothing to do with it.
Three of the intruders took an embassy official into the basement throughout the raid and tried to encourage him to defect from North Korea, in accordance to an in depth doc made public on March 26 by the Spanish courtroom.
While the doc stated a number of members of the group, together with Hong – a Mexican passport holder with U.S. residency – fled to the United States, their whereabouts are unclear.
The Spanish courtroom is in search of their extradition.
A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman declined to touch upon the case.
However, she famous that extradition treaties “generally provide that an individual who has been extradited to another country to face criminal charges cannot thereafter be extradited to a third country without the consent of the original country.”
Reporting by Mark Hosenball. Writing by Ginger Gibson and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft