The Rebel and the Kingdom
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The Rebel and the Kingdom

Bradley Hope

It's a busy period for Project Brazen and we're super-excited to share with you what we've been working on, including my new book THE REBEL AND THE KINGDOM. It's the product of many years of work, but especially the last two. For readers of Whale Hunting, here's an exclusive look at the prologue of the book. If you have any thoughts on it, would love to hear from you anytime.

At the bottom there's a link to an exclusive interview with Christopher Ahn, a Free Joseon volunteer who was told the whole North Korean embassy in Spain was ready to defect after arriving. His story is one of the most urgent and compelling because he's the only one arrested on Spain's extradition request.

-- Bradley

MADRID
February 22, 2019

On a Cool Friday afternoon in late winter, a well-dressed man carrying two luxury gift bags walked up to the door of the North Korean embassy in Madrid and pressed the buzzer.

“¿Sí?” a voice said through the intercom after a few minutes. “Good afternoon, my name is Matthew Chao,” the man outside replied in good Spanish, explaining he’d been there several weeks earlier and had returned with a gift for “Señor So,” citing the name of the embassy’s highest-ranking official.

The embassy was a burnt-orange compound in Madrid’s Valdemarín quarter, a posh district known for its parks and luxurious residences. The diplomatic compound looked more like the estate of a rich if perhaps paranoid Spaniard than the office-like quarters of the city’s other embassies. The discreet entry gate was set back from the sidewalk and flanked by an imposing wall. Little could be seen from the road, and most people in the neighborhood walked by without giving the building a second thought. The embassy received few visitors.

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