N Korean defectors `in US'

North Korea's ambassador to Egypt has defected and been granted asylum in the United States, possibly bringing valuable information about his country's missile sales to Iran and Syria. The US State Department, announcing the defection yesterday of Chung Song Gil, called it "the highest ranking case" of a North Korean defector to the US. In a co-ordinated move, the diplomat's brother, Chang Hung So, defected from a North Korean trade mission in France and also was given asylum along with the ambassador's wife.

AP - Washington