Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Among the felonies, misdemeanors and minor trespasses committed by the DPRK’s diplomatic corps, this may rank as one of the most memorable. On 15 January (Sunday) police in Berlin caught DPRK Ambassador to Germany, Ri Si Hong, fishing without a license. Spiegel‘s online edition citing Berliner Morgenpost and other press reports:
According to reports in dailies Berliner Morgenpost and BZ, Berlin police discovered a man fishing on the Havel River in the city’s Spandau neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. When the officials asked to see the man’s fishing license, he apparently responded by saying he was the North Korean ambassador.
According to the reports, the angler did not have any proof of identity on him, nor did he have a fishing license. The police then asked their colleagues to bring them a current photograph of the ambassador and his personal details. When they arrived, the officers reportedly confirmed that the man was indeed the ambassador, Si Hong Ri, who took his current position in September 2011.
The officers then apparently told the ambassador to cease his illegal fishing activities. According to the police report quoted by the Berliner Morgenpost and the BZ, “the ambassador politely acknowledged (the request) with a smile and continued with the offense.” The police were unable to do anything, given the man’s diplomatic immunity.
When contacted by SPIEGEL ONLINE on Thursday, a Berlin police spokesman confirmed that a report had been filed on Sunday but declined to comment on the identity of the person involved. Fishing without a license is a crime in Germany punishable with up to two years in prison or a fine.
Meanwhile, recently appointed DPRK Ambassador to Cambodia, Hong Ki Chol, met with the Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs (and Deputy Prime Minister) Hor Namhong on 13 January (Friday). During the meeting they discussed a potential visit to the DPRK by Hor Namhong, as well as Hong Ki Chol’s attendance at the ASEAN Regional Forum [ARF] which will be held in Phnom Penh in July. The Cambodian press pointed out that Hong’s meeting with Hor Namhong occurred two days after ASEAN held a closed ministerial meeting to prepare for ARF.