Purged North Korea diplo­mat reap­pears

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

SEOUL: A vet­eran North Korean diplo­mat re­port­edly purged over the re­cent de­fec­tion of the deputy am­bas­sador to Bri­tain has ap­peared in pub­lic-al­beit with­out his for­mer job ti­tle. South Korea’s mass-cir­cu­la­tion JoongAng Ilbo re­ported last week that vice for­eign min­is­ter Kung Sok-Ung had been dis­missed and ex­pelled from Py­ongyang to a ru­ral farm­ing area with his fam­ily. But on Sun­day the North’s of­fi­cial KCNA news agency noted Kung’s pres­ence at a foot­ball match in the cap­i­tal. The KCNA report re­ferred to him as the “for­mer vice min­is­ter”, con­firm­ing he was no longer in his orig­i­nal post but sug­gest­ing he may have just re­tired. The Cho­sun Ilbo news­pa­per in Seoul quoted a source as say­ing that Kung’s daugh­ter was still liv­ing in Py­ongyang and act­ing as a guide for for­eign vis­i­tors. As the vice for­eign min­is­ter, Kung, 72, had spe­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity for Euro­pean af­fairs. His dossier fu­elled spec­u­la­tion he might have been pun­ished for the de­fec­tion two months ago of the North’s deputy am­bas­sador to Bri­tain, Thae Yong-Ho, and his fam­ily to South Korea.

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