North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

DPRK Ambassador to Sweden Has Not Returned After 2 Month Absence

DPRK Ambassador Pak Kwang Chol (L) presents his diplomatic credentials to Icelandic President in Reyjkavik on 2 October 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of Iceland).

DPRK Ambassador Pak Kwang Chol (L) presents his diplomatic credentials to Icelandic President in Reyjkavik on 2 October 2013 (Photo: Office of the President of Iceland).

DPRK Ambassador to Sweden Pak Kwang Chol has not returned to his post in Stockholm since being recalled to his home country in late December.  According to Expressen, officials at the DPRK Embassy claimed that Pak was “on vacation.”  Lina Eidmark of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Press Office said Pak’s extended absence was rare and that “We do not know when he will come back.”  Expressen interviewed a representative of the DPRK Embassy said that Pak was “still on vacation.”  The DPRK official then asked “Is it the case that we have to report to Expressen when he comes back?”  According to the report, the official was “incensed” and ended the telephone call.   Expressen also reported that the DPRK has not disclosed what DPRK Embassy secretary or counsel assumed Pak’s duties (i.e., chargé d’affaires) during his stay in the DPRK.  On 27 December 2013, Pak Kwang Chol and his wife Ri Mi Ran were observed boarding an Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang, accompanied by DPRK officials.  Appointed ambassador in September 2012, Pak had close ties to the former Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission Jang Song Taek (1946-2013), who was removed from office and  executed in December 2013.  He was part of a group of DPRK diplomats and security officials who were based in foreign countries and recalled to the DPRK after Jang’s execution.

3 comments on “DPRK Ambassador to Sweden Has Not Returned After 2 Month Absence

  1. Mebus
    02/27/2014

    He hasn’t returned, because he’s either dead or imprisoned in one of those notorious camps. “Still on vacation”…right.

  2. Bradley Greenwood
    02/28/2014

    He was foolish to return to an almost certain execution in NK.

    • nkleadershipwatch
      02/28/2014

      @Mebus: there is always a possibility Mr. Pak is undergoing “revolutionization”–ideological courses, self-criticism, letters of apology and will be returned to his posting in Stockholm.

      @Bradley Greenwood: Mr. Pak did not have a choice in whether or not he could return. Even if he wanted to migrate to another country, the penalties against his family members, those of his wife or his colleagues would be quite severe.

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This entry was posted on 02/27/2014 by in Uncategorized.

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