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Choe Son-hui promoted to first vice foreign minister: state media

All News 17:16 April 12, 2019

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, one of the country's top nuclear negotiators with the United States, has been promoted to first vice foreign minister, according to the North's official newspaper.

The Rodong Sinmun did not directly report on her promotion but it mentioned her by using the title of first vice foreign minister in reporting on the outcome of the first session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) held on Thursday.

The post of first vice foreign minister is the No. 2 position at the North's foreign ministry, which has one minister, one first vice minister and about a dozen vice ministers.

In a major personnel reshuffle approved during Thursday's parliamentary meeting, Choe was elected as a member of the State Affairs Commission (SAC) and the SPA's foreign affairs commission. She was also elected as a deputy in the nationwide elections last month to form the new legislature.

Choe's marked advance signals she will have greater clout in diplomacy with the U.S. going forward despite the breakdown of February's summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

She is believed to have replaced Kim Kye-gwan as first vice foreign minister.

The 76-year-old veteran diplomat involved in negotiations with the U.S. was excluded from the list of the parliamentary foreign affairs commission, spawning speculation that he might retire from work due to age and health issues.


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