May 12, 2024 - World

Marine vet accused of North Korean embassy raid says his "life is in danger"

Christopher Ahn during his "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday.

Christopher Ahn during his "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday. Photo: CBS News/"60 Minutes"

A U.S. Marine veteran who said he broke into Pyongyang's embassy in Madrid to help North Korean diplomats defect told CBS' "60 Minutes" he's now an "assassination target" of Kim Jong-un's regime.

The big picture: Christopher Ahn, from Southern California, is fighting extradition to Spain where he's wanted on charges in connection with the February 2019 raid that occurred days before then-President Trump met with Kim in Vietnam.

  • Ahn told CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi he's a member of the activist group accused of being behind the raid, Cheollima Civil Defense, which wants to overthrow Kim's regime, but said the timing of the break-in was coincidental and the goal was to free North Korean diplomats by staging a kidnapping.
  • He denies claims made to police by North Korea's acting ambassador, whom he said he was trying to help, that the group beat diplomatic staff.

What they're saying: "The FBI has told me that my life is in danger," said Ahn, who spent 87 days behind bars before being granted bail, during his "60 Minutes" interview. "That the North Korean government is now, and will be, targeting me for assassination."

  • Ahn's attorney Naeun Rim told Alfonsi President Biden or Secretary of State Tony Blinken could prevent his extradition.
  • Representatives for the FBI, Biden and the State Department did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Flashback: North Korean Embassy raiders contacted FBI, Spanish judge says

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