Top N.Korean Ambassadors Called Back to Pyongyang

  • By Kim Myong-song

    March 20, 2019 12:20

    North Korea's ambassadors to China, Russia, and the UN hastily returned to Pyongyang on Tuesday ahead of an expected statement from leader Kim Jong-un about his moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.

    Ambassadors to China Ji Jae-ryong, Russia Kim Hyong-jun, and the UN Kim Song took an Air Koryo flight from Beijing to Pyongyang on Tuesday afternoon, according to diplomatic sources.

    North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said during an urgent press conference last Friday that Kim Jong-un was considering putting a halt to negotiations with the U.S. and would soon announce a future action plan, including whether to scrap the moratorium.

    "Rumors are spreading fast that Kim Jong-un will hold a press conference on Wednesday," a diplomatic source in Beijing said. "It's possible that the gathering of North Korean envoys has something to do with this."

    North Korean ambassador to the UN Kim Song (left) walks through Beijing Capital International Airport en route to Pyongyang in this grab from NHK on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, Namibia has expelled all North Korean laborers despite its long-standing ties with Pyongyang, Radio Free Asia reported that day.

    Namibia canceled all contracts with North Korean firms to implement UN Security Council resolutions and all North Korean workers have left the country, a Namibian government spokesman told RFA.

    Some 50,000 to 100,000 North Korean overseas laborers, who are kept in conditions of virtual slavery, will have to return to their country by the end of the year in compliance with UN sanctions. That will deal another blow to the regime's increasingly desperate efforts to get its hands on hard currency.

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