North Korea has called a high-ranking diplomat who defected to South Korea “human scum” and demanded that he be returned to face criminal charges for embezzlement, leaking state secrets, and sexually assaulting a minor. The allegations were made by the government mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency, which claimed Seoul was using the diplomat’s defection as propaganda aimed at discrediting North Korean authorities.
It also lashed out at British authorities for not extraditing the diplomat, Thae Yong Ho, back to North Korea, and instead handing him over to the South. The report accused Thae of “showing himself to be human scum who lacks even an elementary level of loyalty and even tiny bits of conscience and morality that are required for human beings.” The accusations against the defector came as the country’s leader Kim Jong Un reportedly ordered the execution of North Korean authorities who failed to prevent the high-profile defection. The defection of Thae, a former minister at the North Korean Embassy in London, was announced by South Korean authorities earlier this week.