PYONGYANG, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday said that deputy ambassador to Britain Thae Yong Ho that has reportedly defected to the South committed crimes and fled to escape punishment.

North Korean state media on Saturday accused a diplomat who defected from Britain to South Korea of fleeing to escape punishment for a variety of crimes, including child rape, for which Pyongyang had sought to extradite him.

A commentary by the KCNA news agency did not identify the diplomat by name, but on Wednesday South Korea announced that Thae Yong Ho, who was deputy ambassador at North Korea's embassy in London, had arrived in South Korea with his family.

Thae is the highest-level diplomat to defect from isolated North Korea to the rival, democratic South, according to the South Korean government.

"The fugitive was ordered in June to be summoned for embezzling a lot of state funds, selling state secrets and committing child rape," KCNA said.