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Former U.S. Marine Faces Extradition to Spain for Raiding North Korean Embassy to Help Diplomat Defect

Former U.S. Marine Faces Extradition to Spain for Raiding North Korean Embassy to Help Diplomat Defect

Otto Warmbier’s mother pleads with the judge to stop the Biden-approved extradition.

A former U.S. Marine faces extradition to Spain for breaking into the North Korean embassy in Madrid to help a diplomat defect. It appears Biden’s administration is aiding in this process, despite concerns that North Korea plans retribution for this move.

Christopher Ahn, 40, faces his final extradition hearing in federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Two years ago, he was freed on $1.3million bail but was forced to serve home confinement ahead of his possible extradition to Spain.

The US government is working to extradite Ahn to Spain even though the FBI has reportedly told him that North Korea wants to assassinate him.

Ahn’s attorney says that extradition puts his client’s life in jeopardy since the North has been known to send hit squads to target enemies of the state – even if they are on foreign soil.

Ahn was arrested in LA by US Marshals in 2019 – weeks after he and a group of anti-Kim activists devoted to helping North Koreans flee the authoritarian country broke into the embassy in Madrid in an attempt to help a top diplomat defect.

Ahn defends his actions.

According to the Kukmin Ilbo article published Thursday, Ahn said he and his team, including activist Adrian Hong Chang, entered the embassy at the request of a North Korean diplomat who wanted to defect. Ahn and his legal counsel also made the claim in February.

Ahn’s lawyers have said the North Korean diplomat changed their mind when the raid went badly, according to the JoongAng.

…Ahn said in the interview that the FBI expressed concern for his safety in the event of extradition. The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles acknowledged the FBI message, according to the Kukmin.

The situation is so dire that Otto Warmbier’s mother is pleading with the judge to stop the Biden-approved extradition.

“Our government failed us,” Mrs. Warmbier told the court. “They told us to keep quiet. They told us Otto will be home soon. No one ever stands up to North Korea. Well, I am standing up to North Korea. I am standing up for Chris Ahn, a good man. North Korea will kill Chris if he’s extradited. Please stop this injustice.”

“I just want to say one thing, how appreciative I am of all the supporters and of all the people who have been very supportive of me and have reached out to me and have believed in me,” Ahn said after the hearing was over. “We all believe that truth, logic, common sense will make the day.”

Ahn, currently out on bail, added that he prayed the judge would make “the right decision.”

I am so old that I remember when Presidents would stay up late to greet rescued Americans. I’m praying the judge will do the right thing.

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Comments

Hard to believe this happened on President Trumps watch

Trump should have pardoned him and others on his way out the door

    stevewhitemd in reply to gonzotx. | May 30, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Mr. Ahn did not commit a crime on U.S. soil, and so Mr. Trump could not pardon him. What we could have done was to refuse, politely and gently, the extradition request from Spain. That would have had diplomatic consequences (perhaps serious ones but I’m not the diplomat here), but we could have chosen to bear those. We didn’t, and now we’re stuck.

      dunce1239 in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 30, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      The big risk is will Spain grant North Korea extradition to their country. Technically embassies foreign territory.

      Sanddog in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 30, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Spain shouldn’t even have a dog in this fight. It was the Nork embassy in Spain which is technically an offense against North Korea, not Spain.

        CommoChief in reply to Sanddog. | May 30, 2021 at 8:51 pm

        The host Nation, Spain, has an affirmative obligation to protect the Embassy.

        This whole thing is horribly stupid. No matter the ‘good intentions’ this was a criminal act. Committing criminal acts have consequences.

        I don’t see a way for the US to ignore the extradition request from Spain without causing future problems.

        Hopefully the Spanish will retain jurisdiction and have any judicial proceedings and subsequent incarceration in Spain. I don’t see any need to ship him of to N Korea from Spain. There’s enough to muddy the water sufficiently to avoid that.

          Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 9:27 am

          Yes, but will Spain protect him from North Korean hit squads? Not likely.

          There is a way for the US to ignore the request. Simply refuse it. Spain would have to accept that. But Biden doesn’t care. Biden loves the communists, and thinks what this guy did was actually wrong.

          It wasn’t. It was exactly the same as the Underground Railroad. There was a time when the CIA would have done it, rather than leaving it to private people. That is, assuming he’s telling the truth, which I don’t actually know. Does he have evidence that this was the purpose of the whole thing?

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 10:02 am

          Milhouse,

          Can we tell Spain to pound sand? Sure.
          Whether we should we do that isn’t as clear, IMO.

          Personally I would suggest backchannel with Spain to work out an agreement that they won’t ship his ass to N Korea if we honor their extradition request.

          The man committed crimes. It isn’t tenable to establish a precedent that because those crimes were against the Embassy of a Nation that is depicted as or in reality is ‘oppressive’ or has a ‘flawed’ justice system then it’s ok.

          Philster7656 in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 10:41 am

          America has never formally recognized North Korea. Since the crime was committed against a country that (in our diplomatic eyes) does not exist, we can claim that there was no crime. That might give us a legal leg to stand on.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 12:35 pm

          Phil,

          While N Korea doesn’t have an Embassy in the US or the converse we do recognize the existence of N Korea as a Nation.

          The US has signed several agreements with N Korea. Heck DJT went to the DMZ and had a personal meeting with Kim. Two heads of State holding a face to face meeting is about as high a level of recognition as there is.

          I get why some are sympathetic to Ahn. IMO, it is misguided. The man staged a raid on an Embassy which was coordinated and launched from the soil of our ally, Spain.

          For he and his defenders to suggest that ‘well if I am extradited to Spain then I might end up in the hands of the Nation who’s Embassy I breached and the N Korean govt is a bunch of meanies and may not respect my rights under the US Constitution’….is not acceptable in my opinion.

          The man doesn’t appear to be denying his actions. Instead he is basically saying the punishment might be more than I bargained for.

          Don’t poke the bear if you are unwilling to face the foreseeable consequences would be my advice. We can’t reasonably expect other Nations to honor our requests for extradition if we refuse them flat out.

          Again let’s comply with Spain’s request but subrosa get a firm commitment that they won’t turn him over to N Korea. Let Spain have the jurisdiction over the issue, the trial, sentencing and confinement.

          Barry in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 1:04 pm

          Hopefully we’ll never need to depend on you for freedom and liberty.

          Deny the extradition to Spain and celebrate and honor those that are for freedom and liberty.

          Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | May 31, 2021 at 5:15 pm

          CommoChief, nobody has suggested that Spain has any intention of shipping him to North Korea. There’s no need for an agreement not to, since that’s not even on the agenda. And yes, we absolutely should establish the precedent that not all governments are created equal.

          The USA doesn’t recognize North Korea as a country. Signing armistice agreements and holding meetings doesn’t mean we recognize them; we do that with gangs of armed thugs like the Taliban and the Mafia too. We should tell Spain that we don’t recognize what this guy did as a crime, so we won’t extradite. Spain would probably breathe a sigh of relief, since it’s probably only making this effort to satisfy North Korea; if we say no it can tell NK “we tried”.

          The NK government is not “a bunch of meanies”. I am shocked that you minimize their monstrosity like that. They are monsters, criminals, and the USA has a duty to protect its citizens from them.

          As for your claim that “We can’t reasonably expect other Nations to honor our requests for extradition if we refuse them flat out”, please. Are you serious?! Are you under some illusion that they currently honor all of our extradition requests?! They pick and choose now, and they will continue to pick and choose regardless of what we do. Exhibit A, Roman Polansky.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | June 1, 2021 at 8:49 am

          Milhouse,

          Of course NK is a brutal dictatorship run by a a dangerously paranoid, unstable megalomaniac. No he shouldn’t end up in the hands of NK.

          I don’t understand the repetition that we don’t recognize NK as a Nation. We do. The lack of reciprocal Embassies doesn’t mean we don’t.

          For anyone to suggest that Ahn didn’t commit criminal acts is unserious. Those acts have consequences. Preferably the accountability occurs via Spain.

          Barry,

          Well no you won’t be dependent upon me to preserve liberty. That’s because I am a combat veteran who was medically retired due to injuries sustained in said combat.

          Just FYI, at age 31 I left a lucrative career to enlist in the Army in 2001 and spent just over five years cumulatively deployed to combat zones.

          So Barry, what did you do after the towers fell? Even if you were past age 60 there were plenty of non combat roles to be performed down range.

          Heck, the nice folks who volunteered to run the USO facilities in Kuwait were in their 70’s. Age isn’t a valid excuse for a refusal to serve. Now I have no idea what you did or didn’t do post 9/11 but unless you tell us about your service I will be assuming you sat in your living room.

JusticeDelivered | May 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Can we send Biden and Harris instead? I do not think that we should be handing our soldiers over to foreign governments.

    gonzotx in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 30, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    What a horrible precedent
    Can’t even fathom

    Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 31, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Former soldiers. And we routinely do hand over current as well as former soldiers to foreign governments, when they commit crime in foreign countries. E.g. when our soldiers in Japan rape local women.

      The difference is we expect them to be tried fairly(*), and to get them back when it is over, neither of which is applicable in this case.
      (*) Since the Japanese justice system has around a 99% conviction rate, ‘fair’ is a matter of debatable opinion.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to georgfelis. | May 31, 2021 at 2:45 pm

        Another way of looking at it: the Japanese don’t make a habit of arresting people on a whim or for nonsense charges.

        Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | May 31, 2021 at 5:17 pm

        We expect Ahn to be tried fairly too. Spain’s justice system is a lot fairer than Japan’s. And if he survives his sentence we expect to get him back. The problem is that we can’t trust Spain to protect him properly from NK hit squads.

        Again, there is no suggestion that Spain will pass him on to NK. If we were really worried about that we could simply make it a condition of the extradition that they will not.

If his crime is what he did inside the North Korean Embassy, then his crime took place in North Korea and Spain has no jurisdiction

    stevewhitemd in reply to MarkS. | May 30, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    An interesting point, though Spain would reply that the beginning and end of the crime took place outside the embassy, and thus on Spanish soil.

    The real question is, would the Spanish hand him over to the Norks?

      Sanddog in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 30, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      But was any actual crime committed against Spain? Illegally entering the NK embassy isn’t a crime against Spain.

        Milhouse in reply to Sanddog. | May 31, 2021 at 9:41 am

        Yes, it is, absolutely, just as attacking a foreign embassy in Washington is an offense against USA law, and anyone who did so would be tried in a federal court, not extradited to whatever country it was. The host country is responsible for protecting foreign embassies.

Never met anyone who wore a government costume who wasn’t as arrogant as all holy hell. Hope he’s extradited soon, and whatever justice the North Koreans feel is necessary is meted out.🤠

    Paddy M in reply to cgray451. | May 30, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Look at ya, Chuckles. Cucking for the Norks like you do for the police that enforce the lockdowns you’ve been fan-girling about for a year.

    Colonel Travis in reply to cgray451. | May 30, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you an actual, arrogant jackass.

    Sanddog in reply to cgray451. | May 30, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    You would hand over an American citizen to be murdered by a communist country because he broke into their embassy? You Are A Monster.

    Careful about ‘metting out justice’ – it just might come your way when the tables are turned. You won’t hear any of us complain, like we used to in support of the likes of you to express yourself.

    CommoChief in reply to cgray451. | May 30, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Glad to see you admit that we should not accept anything from our government at face value because they may have a hidden agenda or questionable motives.

    Presumably you will be applying this newfound wisdom to all future comments. It would certainly be a refreshing change were you to do so consistently.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to cgray451. | May 30, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Is ok if I hope they send you instead?

    Milhouse in reply to cgray451. | May 31, 2021 at 9:42 am

    You’d say exactly the same if it were the Third Reich. Which it may as well be; there’s no moral difference between them. Go to Hell.

Ordinarily I would be opposed to US soldiers engaging in this kind of activity – even for a cause I agree with.

But because of CRT the US military is being shaped into a unit dedicated to waging war on American citizens – literally. Or do people seriously think that all of this talk by Biden* administration officials about “white supremacy” being the nation’s #1 enemy and the need for a counterinsurgency to combat it mere hyperbole? The next major war the US fights will be on US soil – with American citizens the targets of guns, bombs, and tanks they paid taxes for.

So fight on, Christopher Ahn and others like you! The Communists cannot wage civil war (the infamous Resustsnce) and demand that no one fight back.

henrybowman | May 30, 2021 at 5:12 pm

“I am so old that I remember when Presidents would stay up late to greet rescued Americans.”

I’m so old, I remember when Presidents had the stamina to stay up late.

    UserP in reply to henrybowman. | May 30, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    You’re pretty old.

    But I can remember when presidents could give a speech without making creepy comments about little girls with barrettes in their hair.

      Or when vice presidents weren’t former whores, and wern’t bent on trashing our country. Remember those days?

        AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to TheFineReport.com. | May 31, 2021 at 7:46 am

        I agree with your comment completely.

        But I do want to point out that you are being a bit hypocritical in your comment.

        You are the same person who gave me pushback on a comment about “profanity” related to wHitler on May 25, yet here you are calling the VP a whore.

        So, a big THANKS from me to you. You finally did grow a pair.

        Congratulations!

If this Marine is turned over to North Korea, even by proxy turning him over to Spain who will certainly pass him along, his blood will be on the current administration’s hands, because N. Korea will certainly kill him.

And nobody with a (D) in their name cares a bit.

    “And nobody with a (D) in their name cares a bit….”

    They DO care about it: they care if the Marine isn’t hanged. They have no idea why, they just follow their morning political emails.

    When the noose comes for them, who are they gonna call, Mitt Romney? Susan Collins? Murkowski? They have no power anymore.

FortesFortunaJuvat | May 30, 2021 at 10:00 pm

chester is a traitor and ought to dealt with as such to maximum punishment allowable by law.

“I’m praying the judge will do the right thing.”

It’s a judge. An appeal to the devil might be better.

I hope Mr Ahn has a plan in place to not be taken alive. He needs to look at Minneapolis as to the outcome of playing nicely.

There is a precedent here albeit sort of. Many times over the decades an illegal alien has committed a horrific capital crime in the United States. Then the illegal alien flees back to Mexico and the Mexican government refuses to extradite him because he could get the death penalty. I know I am talking about different countries and different situations. But the point is: Doesn’t a country have a right to defend one of its own citizens from an unfair trial and unjust punishment in another country?

    rayc in reply to Lausyl. | May 31, 2021 at 9:03 am

    I thought the same thing, but couldn’t they at least make it contingent on him not be extradited to N. Korea. That’s the death penalty.

daniel_ream | May 31, 2021 at 9:32 am

Why is everyone obsessing over the marine getting extradited to North Korea – which is simply not going to happen – when the article clearly says that merely getting extradited to Spain is the risk because NK will try to assassinate him on foreign soil?

    Milhouse in reply to daniel_ream. | May 31, 2021 at 9:48 am

    I can’t figure that out either. I suppose Spain could extradite him to NK, if NK asked for it, but that’s not the normal way things happen. It certainly wouldn’t if the positions were reversed. If a Spanish citizen had broken into a foreign embassy in Washington and then fled to Spain, we would certainly ask Spain for extradition, and would try and punish him here for his crime against our laws, but we would not normally then extradite him to the foreign country.

    The issue here (assuming we should believe him and his supporters) is that here he is more or less safe from NK hit squads, whereas in Spain he would not be.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | May 31, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      Have you been to Spain?

      Yes, there is no question he is safer here. Among other things he can carry arms here.

        I doubt that while being charged with breaking into a foreign embassy, he would be permitted to carry legally in the US. However, I agree with the rest of your statement fully.

        Milhouse in reply to Barry. | May 31, 2021 at 5:23 pm

        Did I question that he is safer here?

        But we have only his word for this whole story. We have only his word that his motives were pure, and we have only his word that NK would send hit squads after him in Spain. We should be wary of taking his word as the absolute truth.

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