North Korean Defector Wins Constituency Seat

In a first for the country, South Korea has elected a North Korean defector to political office. The Yong-Ho, formerly the No. 2 Diplomat at the North Korean Embassy to the United Kingdom in London, was elected to the Daehanminguk Gukhoe (National Assembly) from one of the most affluent districts in the country, Gangnam (located in the capital city of Seoul).


North Koreans who escape the dictatorial regime and manage to cross the border into neighboring countries like South Korea and Japan are known as defectors. They often do this with the aid of contacts on the other side or (indirectly) wings of the governments of the other countries. Both South Korea and Japan have laws and programs to rehabilitate and integrate these defectors into society, along with a debriefing to find out more information about life under (the currently critically ill) Kim Jong Un. Over 33000 North Korean defectors live in South Korea.

Representing the opposition United Future Party, he won a decisive victory over the ruling party candidate, Democratic Party’s Kim Sung-gon, receiving 58.4% of the votes over his opponent’s 39.6%. The Yong-Ho had campaigned under a pseudonym, Tae Ku-min, and claimed he had intentionally submitted his candidacy under false details so as to make it harder for the North to track him down and harm him or his loved ones during the campaign.

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