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N. Korea Calls Embassy Raid a 'Grave Terrorist Attack'

It wants an investigation into a raid on its embassy in Spain last month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2019 6:00 AM CDT
This Wednesday, March 13, 2019 file photo shows a general view of North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
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(Newser) – In what the BBC reports is North Korea's first official comment on the subject, the country said Sunday it wants an investigation into a raid on its embassy in Spain last month, calling it a "grave terrorist attack" and an act of extortion that violates international law. The North's official media quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that an illegal intrusion into a diplomatic mission is a grave breach of the state sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international law, "and this kind of act should never be tolerated." He claimed an armed group tortured the staff and suggested they stole communications gear.

The 10 people who allegedly raided the embassy in Madrid belong to a mysterious dissident organization named Cheollima Civil Defense that styles itself as a government-in-exile dedicated to toppling the ruling Kim family dynasty, reports the AP. The leader of the alleged intruders appears to be a Yale-educated human rights activist who was once jailed in China while trying to rescue North Korean defectors living in hiding, according to activists and defectors. Details have begun trickling out about the raid after a Spanish judge lifted a secrecy order last week and said an investigation of what happened on Feb. 22 uncovered evidence that "a criminal organization" shackled and gagged embassy staff before escaping with computers, hard drives, and documents.

(Read more North Korea stories.)

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