kim hyok-chol

The situation in North Korea is very delicate, because the political system doesn’t have anything in common with the rest of the world, and there are a lot of horrible stories related by prisoners that could escape, but in which measurement these stories are true?

The embassy of the regime of North Korea was installed no long time ago, in a luxurious but minimalist chalet more friendly and not so hermetic and sinister than the own country, situated in Aravaca, Madrid, very near to the dwelling of our former president Zapatero.

Kim Hyok-Chol is the first ambassador of North Korea who installs in Spain, with his wife and his two daughters, and both daughters follow the European education system, in addition to being learning Spanish nowadays.

It seems to me very interesting the interview to this high-up owing to the few we know about the North Korea nation because of the high privacy of this country.

Thanks to this interview I have been able to understand, since other perspective, the view of the own North Korea people about their leader and government Kim Jong-un, and how they justify the acts, defending that they have a completely different kind of life to the rest of the world.

So many interviews have been done to the ambassador with the same intention as mine to understand the situation in North Korea, and my first question was if he feels incommodious with that many questions about confidential information. For my surprise he answer very peaceful, because if he thinks that any question was not suitable he only ignored it and answered something different or with a general answer.

Gathering some information about their culture, economy and politics I found out that a lot of information is confidential, and only a very limited data is finally published.

Deeping in a little more I found out that even the own age of the president Kim Jong-un is a mystery, and when I asked to the ambassador Hyok-Chill, he surprised me ignoring the question answering with another question about why is there a huge interest in knowing the birthday when it exist so many other important things about the leader, Grand Marshal or Brilliant Comrade –as they usually call their followers- as his intention to improve the international relations, as well as the economy and conditions of his country. The confidence is a very important part of the regime of North Korea, because they are very different in so many aspects and it couldn’t be compared with other countries in politic, economy or social ways. Also Kim Jong-un have been working to improve with the conflict with South Korea, trying to reach accordance to the national unification without changing the cultural and political ideology of each region, in spite of knowing that the North Korea regime is better.

The nuclear conflict between United States and North Korea is a very recent new which the ambassador has only limited to say that they don’t want those nuclear armaments and that they only use it for defence to the threats and to prevent a war. He insures that it is a trust problem, because United States hasn’t fulfilled their promises and he doubt that in the next talks United States holds such hard solutions to change the Korea vision.

About the relation between Spain and North Korea he said that is really good, and that’s why the first embassy has been established in Madrid in October of 2013. Since the year 2000 they were carrying out diplomatic relations. Spain participated in their humanitarian aid program, offering the Cruz Roja aid and International Cruz Roja. Further, before the opening of the embassy, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kung Sok-ung, visited Madrid and he established some meetings with the Foreign Secretary and CEOs.

Talking about the imports from North Korea to Spain he highlights the steel products, seafood, meets, software tools, cosmetics, among others.

When I asked him to talk about his country I found out interesting that he commented that is a very beautiful place, with scenery and nature worth visiting, besides it is not very expensive to go on holidays. The tourism is also one of the objectives that it aims to improve in an international way.

This point in particular surprised me a lot because I understood and found out that it is not impossible to get access to North Korea.

Mr Kim Hyok-Chol is a pacific man, that defend his fatherland as well as we defend our, with their problems and good things too. His presence is honoured because we know that North Korea is the closest country and less known, and now we have a little part in our country.

I didn’t want to make uncomfortable questions to the ambassador, because I think that he has been in that situation so many times in many other different interviews before mine since his stay in Spain.

Nonetheless, do you think that North Korea could open his border gates easily?

Do you think there will be an improvement in the relations with this new embassy?

The time would be the one that will answer these questions someday.

By: Esther Mula Forte


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