Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung and delegation of the DPRK Foreign Ministry returned to the DPRK on 2 November (Saturday) after a 17-day visit to European countries. Many of Kung and the delegation’s appearances in Europe were not publicized. Kung visited The Hague during 18 to 20 October. During his stay in Holland he met with officials from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, including the executive director of its global secretariat Peter van Tuijl. From 24 to 27 October Kung Sok Ung visited Spain, where the DPRK recently opened an embassy. On 25 October Kung met with Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gonzalo de Benito, Director-General of North America, Asia and the Pacific Ernesto de Zulueta and Spain’s Ambassador to the DPRK and ROK Luis Arias. According to the Spanish government, Kung and other DPRK officials “declared its interest in increasing bilateral relations and in exploring future routes to collaboration in all spheres.” Spanish officials declared their strong position against nuclear proliferation and the need for Pyongyang to contribute to peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the East Asia region, complying with its international obligations” and “encouraged the DPRK to continue taking tangible steps, following on from the reopening of the Kaeso’ng industrial complex, towards reducing the tension between the two Korean countries.” Spanish officials also told Kung that they hoped meeting with him would contribute to “supports the international community’s efforts to achieve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”
On the same day Kung Sok Ung returned to the DPRK, a delegation of the Korean Workers’ Party led by KWP International Affairs Department Deputy Director Ri Yong Chol departed Pyongyang to attend a meeting of communist parties in Portugal and to visit France.