N. Korea recalls Sweden envoy: Report

N. Korea recalls Sweden envoy: Report
File KCNA image of unveiling of new statues of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung at an event in Wonsan

SEOUL - North Korea's ambassador to Sweden has been recalled apparently as part of a purge prompted by the execution of the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un, a report said Friday.

Pak Kwang-Chol, an associate of the young supremo's uncle and political regent Jang Song-Thaek, was seen returning home after making a brief stopover in Beijing, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

Yonhap, citing a diplomatic source in Beijing, said the envoy and his wife were escorted by North Korean officials onto a flight to Pyongyang.

Park took up the post in September last year, it added.

Sweden is an influential diplomatic player in Pyongyang. Since the United States and North Korea have no diplomatic ties, the Swedish Embassy represents US interests in the country, acting as a kind of go-between.

Yonhap reported earlier this month that North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-Chol, a nephew of the purged uncle, had also been recalled.

Jang Song-Thaek was executed in the biggest political upheaval since the young leader inherited power two years ago.

There are growing concerns over the regime's stability after Jang's execution, and Seoul and Washington have warned of possible provocative acts by the nuclear-armed North following the purge.

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