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Newspaper Reports Senior North Korean Official Defects To Russia

A South Korean newspaper reports that a high-ranking North Korean official who managed leader Kim Jong Un's personal finances has defected to Russia.

The newspaper "Joong Ang Ilbo" on August 29 quoted an unidentified source as saying that Yun Tae Hyong, a senior representative of North Korea's Daesong Bank, disappeared last week in Nakhodka, a Russian port near the North Korean border, with $5 million.

The newspaper quoted the source as saying that Yun was "allegedly requesting asylum" and that Pyongyang had asked Russian authorities for cooperation in his capture and repatriation.

Reuters reported that South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said it had no knowledge of the matter.

The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Daesong Bank in 2010 for being involved "in facilitating North Korea’s illicit financing projects."

Based on reporting by Reuters and "JoongAng Ilbo"