Diplomat Veteran Appointed as Foreign Minister First Female North Korea

Diplomat Veteran Appointed as Foreign Minister First Female North Korea
Choe Son Hui appointed as first female foreign minister

International Military
- North Korea has appointed veteran diplomat Choe Son-hui as its first female foreign minister, state media reported Saturday (11/6/2022). The move comes as Pyongyang presses ahead with a series of tests of weapons of mass destruction.

"Choe, who previously served as North Korea's deputy foreign minister, was appointed to head the foreign ministry at a ruling party meeting overseen by leader Kim Jong Un," the North's state news agency KCNA reported.

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He replaces Ri Son Gwon, a hardline former military official who previously led talks with the South. A career diplomat fluent in English, Choe served as Kim's close aide during nuclear talks with the United States and accompanied the North Korean leader to summits with then US president Donald Trump.

He held a rare question-and-answer session with reporters on the eve of a failed no-deal summit in Hanoi in February 2019. He blamed Washington for the failed talks. "I think the United States has missed a golden opportunity with its rejection of our proposal," he said.

Read Also: US Threatens To Take Swift Action If North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapons

Diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington has since stalled, with the Kim regime in recent months not responding to repeated US offers to return to negotiations. Meanwhile, nuclear-armed North Korea has carried out a series of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range for the first time since 2017.

US and South Korean officials have also warned that the Kim regime is preparing to carry out what would be its seventh nuclear test in a move Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned would trigger a "quick and strong" response.

Read Also: North Korea Has Largest ICBM Nuclear Test, US Adds Sanctions

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