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N. Korea reveals foreign ministry's post handling external news and info

All News 10:55 April 20, 2020

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has revealed the name of a foreign ministry post handling external news and information, raising speculation it might have been newly created as part of an organizational reshuffle in recent months, observers said Monday.

On Sunday, the North Korean foreign ministry's "room chief of news for foreign service of Department of Press and Information" issued a statement, disputing U.S. President Donald Trump's assertion that he has recently received a "nice note" from leader Kim Jong-un.

The unnamed official warned that the relations between the top leaders of the two countries "are not an issue to be taken up just for diversion nor should it be misused for meeting selfish purposes."

North Korea is known to operate the Department of Press and Information, but the "room chief" post under that department has not been mentioned before.

Observers say if the post were a newly created one, it could be part of an organizational reshuffle that seems to be under way under Ri Son-gwon, who was confirmed to have been appointed as new foreign minister earlier this year.

Last month, the North Korean foreign ministry lashed out at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for seeking to maintain sanctions on the North in a statement issued by what it called a "new department director general for negotiations with the U.S."

Seoul's unification ministry said the post seems to have been newly created but added it is not clear whether it would replace the existing department for North American affairs or would be run independently.

Some say the newly disclosed news and information post might deal mostly with such courtesy issues as reporting on exchanges of correspondence between leaders, leaving more sensitive issues as negotiations with the U.S. to the organization that the North revealed last month.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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