March 16, 2020 12:56
North Korea has replaced its ambassador to Austria for the first time in 27 years.
The North's Foreign Ministry on Saturday said it appointed instead Choe Kang-il, the acting director-general of the Foreign Ministry's North American affairs bureau. The outgoing ambassador, Kim Kwang-sop, is a son-in-law of regime founder Kim Il-sung.
Earlier, Kim Pyong-il, North Korea's ambassador to the Czech Republic and a son of the nation founder, was also recalled to Pyongyang after decades in quasi-exile as a perpetual ambassador in Eastern Europe.
Kim Kwang-sop is the husband of Kim Pyong-il's older sister Kyong-jin, making him the brother-in-law of former leader Kim Jong-il.
After Kim Jong-il was picked to succeed Kim Il-sung in the early 1970s, both Kim Pyong-il and Kim Kwang-sop were effectively banished abroad.
The current leader, Kim Jong-un, is believed to have summoned his two uncles back to Pyongyang to contain potential threats to his leadership.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com