A Spanish court says assailants , which included a U.S. citizen and another resident, who broke into North Korea’s Embassy in Madrid last month later fled to the U.S.
The leader of the plot fled to Newark, N.J., and offered stolen material to the FBI in New York. A spokesman for the FBI’s New York field office, Martin Feely, told NPR in an email that the FBI had no comment.
Late Tuesday, a Web site apparently associated with a secretive North Korean dissident movement called “Free Joseon” published a statement claiming the group carried out an operation at the North Korean Embassy in Madrid. The Madrid incident occurred on Feb. 22, just days before the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. That summit ended in a stalemate after the U.S. and North Korea could not agree on a deal.
In the afternoon of Feb. 22, the statement says, U.S. resident Adrian Hong Chang asked to see the business supervisor at the embassy before letting the rest of the group in. After several hours, the individuals took off in three embassy cars, carrying stolen pen drives, computers, hard drives and cellphones with them. The statement says the 10 alleged assailants split into four groups and immediately fled to Portugal, where they took flights to New York and New Jersey.
Spanish judge José de la Mata says Hong contacted the FBI four days after arriving in New York via Newark, allegedly offering to hand over material stolen from the embassy. The statement says he admitted to having perpetrated the attack on the embassy with a group of other, unidentified individuals.
The Free Joseon statement adds that, “The organization shared certain information of enormous potential value with the FBI in the United States, under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality. … Those terms appear to have been broken.”