DPRK state media reported on 8 December (Saturday) that the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium appointed So Chang Sik ambassador to Kuwait. From 2005 to 2012 So has served as the political councilor and minister at the DPRK Embassy in Italy. He appeared at a number of social and political events in Italy, including an April 2008 meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Florence. He also visited the countries to which the DPRK Ambassador to Italy is a nonresident diplomatic representative including Cyprus, Greece and Malta. So has also served in the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Ministry) as deputy (vice) director of European Affairs and (according to Yonhap) as the director of International Organizations. In 2002 So spoke at a closed-door conference hosted by the European Institute for Asian Studies.
So Chang Sik replaces veteran DPRK diplomat and foreign policy hand Ho Jong. Ho has been recalled to Pyongyang and made his farewell calls to Kuwaiti senior leadership on 25 November 2012. Ho’s return to the home country might foreshadow a recalibration by the central leadership in the the country’s external relations.