Archive for March 16, 2017
A North Korean diplomat says the killing of a man confirmed by Malaysian police to be the half brother of North Korea’s leader was a political conspiracy engineered by Washington and Seoul. Pak Myong Ho, a minister at North Korea’s embassy in Beijing, said Thursday the killing in Malaysia last month was a “despicable and extremely dangerous” plot by the U.S. and South Korea aimed at smearing North Korea’s image and subverting its regime. Pak said “indiscriminate claims of behind-the-scenes manipulation” would fail, referring to allegations by South Korea’s spy agency that North Korea masterminded the assassination. North Korea has demanded that Malaysia hand over the body and objected when it conducted an autopsy. It also has refused to acknowledge that the victim was the half brother of its leader.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on March 16 that it was recalling its ambassador in Ankara, Nadezhda Neynsky, for consultations. The single-sentence statement by the Foreign Ministry gave no reason why Neynsky was being called back to Sofia, but the development comes amid continuing controversy about reported interference by Turkey in Bulgaria’s March 26 early parliamentary elections. In diplomatic practice, recalling an ambassador for consultations is generally seen as a second stage of protest after formally summoning a foreign country’s ambassador, but is a stop short of suspending diplomatic relations. The Turkish ambassador in Sofia, Süleyman Gökçe, was summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on March 7, to hear a protest from caretaker Deputy Foreign Ministry Boiko Mirchev following reports about a Turkish cabinet minister having called on Bulgarians in Turkey to vote for Lyutvi Mestan’s DOST party.