Outgoing UK Envoy Recounts Experience in Pyongyang

Economic exchanges between North Korea and China has also affected the appearance of North Korean women, departing British Ambassador to Pyongyang Peter Hughes said Wednesday. Their appearance changed as a result of more imports of Chinese cosmetics and colorful clothes.

Hughes was speaking at a seminar hosted by the Kwanhun Club, a senior journalists fraternity, at the Seoul Press Center. He stopped over in Seoul on his way from Pyongyang where, he served as ambassador since September 2008.

More Chinese-made vehicles run on Pyongyang streets, but there are no changes in North Korea's ideologies or policies, he said.

"In terms of atmosphere, we have felt no concern amongst the people," he said. But he added there appears to be no universal support for the dynastic succession of leader Kim Jong-il’s son Jong-un.

"It has become a habit at national events to propose a toast to the health of Kim Jong-il and the young general, Kim Jong-un," he said. "If you ask officials afterwards who this young General Kim Jong-un is, they will say he's General Kim Jong-un. They will not say he's the successor or he's going to replace Kim Jong-il. That is not an issue for discussion."

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 29, 2011 09:26 KST