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Germany approves N. Korea's new top envoy in Berlin

2016/12/01 11:35

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Ambassador to Germany Ri Si-hong will return home soon, as Berlin has approved the North's top envoy designate whose name is unknown after rejecting him twice, a U.S.-based media outlet said Thursday.

Citing diplomatic sources, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said Ri's replacement has received the German government's approval, setting the stage for the incumbent envoy to return to Pyongyang.

Ri, who returned to the North in April after being recalled for unknown reasons, went back to Berlin from Pyongyang because the German government had twice rejected the North Korean government's request for Berlin's approval of a new ambassador designate who was set to replace Ri. Ri was appointed ambassador to Berlin in June 2011.

It is very unusual for a diplomatic agreement to be refused by a country, but it occasionally happens in certain cases.

The German foreign ministry has yet to officially confirm whether it has given the North approval for the new ambassador or has continuously rejected the ambassador designate, RFA said.