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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 5 July, 2020

North Korean ambassador let off hook over illegal fishing

The diplomat was caught angling without a permit in Berlin – but simply told police he was the North Korean ambassador and carried on.

It's not known whether the ambassador caught any fish
It's not known whether the ambassador caught any fish
Image: Brandon Giesbrecht via Flickr

THE NEW NORTH Korean ambassador to Germany has put his diplomatic immunity to good use – waving away police after being caught fishing without a permit.

Ambassador Ri Si Hong, who was appointed in September, was caught by police flouting regulations as he fished on a river in Berlin.

The LA Times reports that simply smiled, stated that he was the North Korean ambassador, and kept on fishing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said yesterday that the ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity – but has probably gotten the message that “fishing in Germany is a pursuit that is very strictly regulated”, after a slew of front-page tabloid articles about his infraction.

Police say the incident occurred last Sunday, and that the suspect – whom they wouldn’t name – was cited for fishing without a license on the banks of the Havel river in southwestern Berlin.

The North Korean Embassy didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment and its telephones weren’t working. According to, an official told one reporter that “all journalists are dirt”, then hung up.

Fishing violations are normally punished with a fine.

- Additional reporting from AP

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Michael Freeman

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