North Korea reportedly promotes diplomat in charge of ties with U.S.


Choe Son Hui, director general of the North American department at the North Korean Foreign Ministry, has been promoted to a vice ministerial position, a U.S.-based news site reported Wednesday.

NK News, which provides news and analysis about North Korea, said the promotion was confirmed by a diplomatic note circulated to officials in Pyongyang last week.

The report said it is unclear who will take over her position in the department.

The revelation comes a few days after a North Korean official was quoted by the South Korean government as saying Pyongyang is “fully open” to dialogue with Washington.

Foreign affairs experts said Choe’s promotion may be linked to North Korea’s preparations for direct talks with the United States.

As head of the North American department, she met former U.S. government officials in Norway last May. In October that year, she made contact with a senior official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and a former U.S. undersecretary of state at a non-proliferation conference in Moscow.