Back in February, several masked individuals raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid, tying up staffers, stealing computers, and escaping to the U.S.
A shadowy anti-Kim regime group known as “Free Joseon” claimed responsibility. On Thursday, federal authorities arrested a former U.S. Marine, Christopher Ahn, in connection with the raid. Yesterday, he appeared before a judge who promptly ordered the records sealed.
An FBI spokesman referred The Post to the Justice Department for information. A Justice Department spokesperson declined The Post’s request for comment. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
“We are dismayed that the US Department of Justice has decided to execute warrants against US persons that derive from criminal complaints filed by the North Korean regime,” read a statement attributed to “Ambassador Lee Wolosky” on Free Joseon’s website. The Post identified Wolosky as Hong’s lawyer.
“The last US citizen who fell into the custody of the Kim regime returned home maimed from torture and did not survive,” the statement continued, referring to college student Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 after returning to the U.S. from North Korea in a coma.
“We have received no assurances from the US government about the safety and security of the US nationals it is now targeting,” Wolosky added.
It is not likely that Ahn or any other American will be extradited to North Korea to stand trial. We have no extradition treaty with Kim’s regime, and despite Trump’s eagerness to improve relations with Kim, it’s doubtful he’d make a gift of a U.S. citizen to the bloodthirsty North Korean leader.
But Ahn and others charged in the raid might be held for being in possession of stolen property. It’s unclear if any U.S. citizen could be charged with “terrorism,” which is what North Korea is calling the incident. Nor is it likely that any prosecutor would try Ahn or others for other crimes related to the raid.
We can sympathize with the goals of Free Joseon, but running around raiding embassies in other countries is not the most ideal way to make your point.