Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK Ambassador to Spain Kim Hyok Chol presented his letter of credence (diplo credentials) to King Juan Carlos I in Madrid on 15 January (Wednesday). Kim was one of 17 ambassadors accredited at the Palacio de la Zarzuela. According to Europa Press, “One of the curiosities of the event has been the presence of the North Korean representative, after the Spanish government gave green light to Pyongyang regime to open an Embassy in Madrid. Spain now counts, as other European capitals, like London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Warsaw and Stockholm, with an NK Embassy. Nevertheless, Spain won´t open a delegation in Pyongyang although they have diplomatic relations since 2001.”
Previously an ambassador-at-large in the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kim Hyok Chol was appointed ambassador to Spain by the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium on 4 January 2014. The governments of the two countries finalized an agreement in October 2013 that the DPRK would open an embassy in Spain. The embassy, located in a Madrid suburb, is scheduled to open during the next month. Until 2013, the DPRK Ambassador to Italy was the nonresident ambassador to Spain. It is not clear if Kim Hyok Chol will assume other nonresident ambassadorships in Europe.