Adrian Hong, who leads an NGO called “FREE JOSEON” that had broken in at the DPRK embassy in Spain in February, met with the FBI in New York and Los Angeles.
According to an FBI written prosecution released by The Associated Press on Tuesday (local time), Hong boarded a plane for New York on February 23, the following day he broke into the DPRK embassy in Spain. Hong took out and showed the items he had acquired and told the FBI that he had “brought them from the embassy” and “though he had carried a knife and air soft gun, he did not take them out.” Later on, when he went to Los Angeles and met with FBI agents, he told them that “there was a U.S. Marine veteran retired from Southern California involved in the attack,” disclosing information about Christopher Ahn, a fellow member of the NGO.
The FBI’s decision to arrest Hong, whom they previously met with twice, as well as Ahn is likely to be influenced by political decisions of the U.S. government, which is considering repatriation of the men.
“There should have been several political discussions prior to the U.S. government’s acceptance of Spain’s request to arrest the men regarding this very political event,” said attorney Kim Sang-yun at Kobre & Kim, a former prosecutor at the Criminal Department at the U.S. Attorney Office.
Against this background, an official at the U.S. Justice Department spoke with The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday and explained that “Spanish authorities recently made an official request to repatriate Christopher Ahn. The next hearing on July 18 will discuss whether the repatriation is appropriate.” Ahn’s attorney requested bail on the second hearing that was held at the Los Angeles Federal Court on Tuesday but was denied.