Alleged assault causes diplomatic rift between Pakistan and North Korea
Share this on

Alleged assault causes diplomatic rift between Pakistan and North Korea

NORTH KOREA’s embassy in Islamabad has signified diplomatic ties with Pakistan could be affected after a diplomat and his wife were reportedly assaulted in their home.

The North Korean couple allege they were tortured by a group of Pakistani tax department officials who entered their home in Karachi on April 9, according to a letter addressed to the chief of the Excise and Taxation Department.

“Ten or more armed and unarmed excise officers illegally entered into the embassy residence and brutally shackled the diplomat in [an] organised way,” the complaint from the North Korean Embassy read, demanding action against the officials involved.

Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that maintains a diplomatic and economic relationship with North Korea.

SEE ALSO: Cut funding to North Korea, minimise ties – Tillerson tells Asean

According to the letter from the embassy, Pakistani officials left wounds on the diplomat’s elbows and legs, bruises on his wrists and ankles, injuries on his wife’s face, head and wrists, and even much of her hair was pulled out.

It further adds, “The female official threatened the diplomat’s wife, aiming the gun at her face.”

The motivation for the incident, reportedly captured by CCTV cameras, is unclear.

Tax office spokesman Shoaib Siddiqui disclosed to the media that a probe had been issued for getting to the root of the matter and tracking down the accused.

“We will examine [thoroughly] the CCTV film so that we can identify the men,” he added.

SEE ALSO: Pope calls for ‘diplomatic solution’ to avert devastating war with N. Korea


People react as they march past foreign journalists and the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country’s founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. Source: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Pyongyang’s nuclear program – which is currently causing diplomatic chaos worldwide – was assisted by Pakistani Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the South Asian nation’s nuclear weapons program. He admitted in 2004 that he had sold state secrets to rogue agents from Libya, Iran and North Korea.

Yet the alleged assault last month is not the first time that North Korean diplomats have run into trouble in Pakistan.

At the beginning of April 2015, another diplomat and his wife were apprehended on the accusation of selling bootleg alcohol to fund the North Korean embassy’s operations and to send money home to the reclusive state.

Earlier this year, North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia was expelled after the leader’s half brother Kim Jong Nam was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.