North Korea has its first female Foreign Minister
North Korea has named country’s top nuclear negotiator as first female foreign minister, according to the state media on Saturday. This appointment comes amid warnings from Washington that Pyongyang is arranging to conduct a nuclear test.
“Career diplomat Choe Son Hui was appointed at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea from June 8-10, overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,” said state-run media outlet KCNA.
Timing of appointment of nuclear negotiator as Foreign Minister of North Korea
Choe Son Hui’s appointment as Foreign Minister comes at a time when the tensions on Korean Peninsula are escalated like never before amid North Korea aggressively ramping up its missile testing program, a non-compliance to United Nations sanctions.
US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim issued a warning on Tuesday, stating that Washington believes Pyongyang is on verge to conduct seventh nuclear test, country’s first since 2017.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said on Tuesday that North Korea is “readying their nuclear test site, warning the situation surrounding Pyongyang’s nuclear program is quite concerning because we have seen a fast-forward in every line,” evidently based on the activity at the Punggye-ri site.
Who is the new foreign minister of North Korea?
Born in 1964 in Pyongyang, “Choe is the daughter of former North Korean prime minister Choe Yong Rim”, according to South Korean Unification Ministry data.
Choe was instrumental and played a critical role during North Korea’s summits with the US. She led a rather aggressive negotiation effort which was aimed at the US leadership of former President Donald Trump. Her statements, that were published on North Korean state media, alternated between “threatening a nuclear showdown” to offers of conducting dialogue.
Show of Force
This year alone, North Korea has carried out 17 missile launches that includes two successful tests of “presumed intercontinental ballistic missiles”.
In response, on Tuesday the allies South Korea and the US conducted an aerial “show of force” to North Korea by flying 20 fighter jets over waters west of the Korean Peninsula. This followed Monday’s firing of eight missiles by US and South Korea into nearby waters, which they said was a demonstration that “even if North Korea provokes with missiles from multiple locations, (South Korea and the US have) the ability and readiness to immediately strike with precision.”