The North Korean ambassador to Sweden, who was a close associate of the executed North Korean eminence grise Jang Song-taek, was called back to North Korea last Friday.
Pak Kwang-chol and his wife left Beijing for Pyongyang via Koryo Air flight JS222 that day, accompanied by a group of people who looked like their North Korean minders, sources said.
Based in Sweden, Pak is concurrently envoy to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and the Netherlands.
As a key crony of Jang's, he reportedly played a role in promoting like-minded people in the regime’s Foreign Ministry.
Jang, who was leader Kim Jong-un's uncle, was executed last month charged with various crimes against the state including "factionalism."