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N. Korean interpreter to six-party talks promoted in foreign ministry: source

All Headlines 12:04 October 13, 2010

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean interpreter known for accompanying her country's delegation to the six-party nuclear talks has been promoted to deputy director in Pyongyang's foreign ministry, a diplomatic source here said Wednesday.

Choe Son-hui, who is also the adopted daughter of the communist nation's third highest-ranking official, Premier Choe Yong-rim, interpreted for the country's envoys to the six-nation talks aimed at denuclearizing the North until December 2008. The negotiations, involving the two Koreas, host China, Japan, Russia and the U.S., have since stalled after North Korea walked out in protest over U.N. sanctions against the country for its nuclear and missile tests.

Since Tuesday, Choe has been traveling with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan on his trip to Beijing, where he is expected to meet China's chief nuclear envoy Wu Dawei to discuss resuming the talks.

"Choe worked as a researcher this year and was recently promoted to deputy director," said the source. "Choe's role goes beyond English interpretation and (we) need to keep watching her future activities."

The 46-year-old was also spotted interpreting for North Korea when former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Pyongyang last year to win the release of two American journalists held for illegal entry.

She is known to have received special permission from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to study abroad in Austria, Malta and China.


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