North Korea under threat from ‘shadowy’ underground movement seeking to topple Kim Jong-un

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The organisation, called Free Joseon, is a secretive international network of activists seeking to change the regime in North Korea. The group raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February 2019. They broke in with metal bars, pellet guns, knives, and black balaclavas.

North Korea then released a statement saying the Spanish authorities should bring the “terrorists and their wire-pullers to justice”.

The regime also called the action by the group a “grave terrorist attack”.

A Mexican national, called Adrian Hong, was found to be the leader of the group.

Mr Hong contacted “the FBI in New York five days after the assault” to explain the incident in the embassy.

The leader has referred to his organisation as composed of “freedom fighters”.

He recently met with investigative journalist and author Suki Kim and referring to the North Korean regime said: “Regimes like this don’t collapse slowly.

“It happens instantly.

“Every revolution is that way, and this will be the same.

“I don’t mean a revolution in a figurative sense.

“I don’t mean the revolution of the mind.

“Or some kind of fantasy where five hundred thousand people protest in Pyongyang and the regime just packs their bags and leaves and some transitional government comes in place.

“This is not like any other country, where offering them enough money will mean they will liberalise, any opening or reform will result in their insecurity.

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“The only way to make them change is to force them to change.”

Ms Kim’s article in the New Yorker magazine added that the group has even labelled itself as a government-in-exile, in direct opposition to the regime in Pyongyang.

The investigative journalist said the plan for this government in exile was to set up a cabinet and have its own ambassadors.

Speaking to Ms Kim about the North Korea regime, Mr Hong said: “I don’t have a particular passion for North Korea, beyond that it’s culturally accessible to me and I am culturally equipped to advocate for it.”

In his discussions with Ms Kim he called North Korea, “the worst place on earth, and a symbol of what man’s ingenuity and tenacity can achieve when organised for evil.”

In his work to change the Orwellian system in North Korea Mr Hong takes inspiration from Martin Luther King’s interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan, “if I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” but “If I don’t stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

Mr Hong has now started a think tank called the Joseon Institute, to prepare for the reconstruction of North Korea if the regime collapses.

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