North Korea recalls ambassador to Sweden

2013-12-27 13:08

North Korea’s ambassador to Sweden has been recalled, apparently as part of a purge prompted by the execution of the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un.

Pak Kwang-Chol, an associate of the young supremo’s uncle and political regent, Jang Song-Thaek, was seen returning home after making a brief stopover in Beijing, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

Citing a diplomatic source in Beijing, Yonhap said the envoy and his wife were escorted on to a flight to Pyongyang by North Korean officials.

Park took up the post in September last year, it added.

Sweden is an influential diplomatic player in Pyongyang. Since the US and North Korea have no diplomatic ties, the Swedish embassy represents US interests in the country, acting as a go-between of sorts.

Yonhap reported earlier this month that North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-Chol, a nephew of the purged uncle, had also been recalled.

Jang Song-Thaek was executed in the biggest political upheaval since the young leader inherited power two years ago.

There are growing concerns over the regime’s stability after Jang’s execution and Seoul and Washington have warned of possible provocative acts by the nuclear-armed nation following the purge.

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