Wed 31 Oct 2007
Filed under: News,Regional
Myanmar endorsed the appointment of the first North Korean ambassador to the country after a 24-year diplomatic rupture, officials said Tuesday.
Myanmar’s government agreed to the appointment of Kim Sok Chol, 52, as Pyongyang’s ambassador, foreign ministry officials said.
Myanmar and North Korea, which have two of Asia’s most repressive regimes, agreed to resume diplomatic ties during an April visit by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il.
Myanmar appointed its ambassador to China, Thein Lwin, in August to serve concurrently as ambassador to North Korea.
Myanmar severed diplomatic relations with North Korea in 1983 following a fatal bombing in Yangon by North Korean secret agents that targeted then-South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan. Chun was unhurt but 21 people were killed, including four South Korean cabinet ministers.
Investigations found that three North Korean commandos were involved in the bombing. One blew himself up during an attempt to capture him, and a second was hanged after a trial. The third remains in a Myanmar prison.
The two countries had been quietly working to normalize relations for the past few years. Myanmar, which face an arms embargo by the United States and European Union countries, has reportedly bought weapons from North Korea.