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North Korea’s top diplomat in Italy defected, embarrassing Kim Jong Un

North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy defected with his wife in November, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Thursday, striking an embarrassing blow to leader Kim Jong Un and his communist regime.

Jo Song Gil, 48, and his wife left the official residence in early November, weeks before his term was set to end, an official from Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said, according to South Korean lawmaker Kim Min-ki.

He was the acting ambassador in Rome since Oct. 2017, after the Italian government expelled the now-former ambassador Mun Jong Nam in retaliation for a nuclear test by North Korea that year, the AFP reported.

Pyongyang deems the diplomatic mission in Italy essential as it’s the home of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the regime suffers from food shortages, the outlet noted.

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