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Thursday, November 3, 2016, 18:12

DPRK names new envoy to UK after high-level defection

By Reuters

SEOUL – The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday said it had appointed a new ambassador to the United Kingdom, more than two months after the embassy's number-two diplomat defected to the Republic of Korea (ROK), in an embarrassing blow for the regime of leader Kim Jong-un.

The DPRK’s official KCNA news agency said the new ambassador is Choe Il, whom ROK media have previously reported was a senior official in the country's foreign ministry.

KCNA's one-line statement did not mention a new role for Pyongyang's incumbent ambassador in London, Hyon Hak-bong.

In August, the ROK announced that Thae Yong-ho, the number-two official in the DPRK’s London embassy, had defected with his family to the ROK, making him the highest ranking diplomat to flee the country for the democratic South.

Thae has yet to appear in public since his arrival in the ROK.

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