'My life is in danger,' says marine vet who tried to help North Korean diplomats defect



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A marine veteran said his life is in danger after he claims he attempted to help North Korean diplomats defect by staging a fake kidnapping.

Christopher Ahn described in a “60 Minutes” interview with Sharyn Alfonsi on Sunday that the Spanish government is now seeking to extradite him after the incident.

Ahn said he is part of Cheollima Civil Defense, a secretive activist group that is hoping to overthrow the North Korean government. 

“Of course it sounds crazy,” he said, describing how a North Korean diplomat at the Spanish embassy contacted the group to help them defect.

His mission: fake a kidnapping to allow the diplomats enough cover to leave. All was well, then the police showed up.

“The color on everyone’s face just [turned] to lily-white,” he said.

The acting ambassador told Spanish police that Ahn’s group had tied and beat staff during the kidnapping, which he denied. Now, the Spanish government is attempting to extradite him, and he’s already spent nearly three months behind bars.

“The FBI has told me that my life is in danger. That the North Korean government is now, and will be, targeting me for assassination,” he said.

Ahn’s attorney told “60 Minutes” that they have attempted to get the Justice Department or President Biden to intervene on his behalf and stop any extradition. 

He added that he has previously helped Kim Han Sol, the nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, escape the country and go into hiding after his father was assassinated in Malaysia in 2017.

North Korea “had been publicly embarrassed with what happened in Spain. They had been publicly embarrassed with me helping rescue Han Sol,” Ahn said. “So why wouldn’t I believe the FBI when they tell me that North Korea’s trying to kill me?”



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