It seems everyone with even a casual interest in North Korea was at their computers last week, fervently seeking the identity of the mysteriously Western-looking man riding an amusement park ride with Kim Jong-un:
Given that Kim’s delegation was reported to include foreign diplomats,we suspected the answer might be a mundane — but we have to say our interest picked up when North Korean news agencies abruptly deleted the photo. What could have caused them to do that?
Evidently it was just a desire to mess with the Western media.
James West of Mother Jones has confirmed that the mystery man is Barnaby Jones, a junior diplomat with the British Embassy in Pyongyang. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office explained to West in an email.
Pyongyang’s diplomatic community was invited to the opening of the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground. This included the Chargé d’Affaires of the British Embassy, who accepted the invitation to attend. While this was an unusual event, it is vital that we actively engage with the North Korean administration since we work closely with them on a number of humanitarian, cultural and education projects which benefit the people of North Korea.
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