Former army officer appointed N Korea’s new top diplomat

25 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

SEOUL: North Korea has appointed a former army officer with little diplomatic experience as its new foreign minister, state media confirmed Friday, reflecting Pyongyang’s already declared hard-line policy toward the US, reports AFP.

Speculation had mounted that the country’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho had been replaced by former defense commander Ri Son Gwon as part of a major reshuffle during stalled nuclear talks with Washington.

Unlike his predecessor—who served as a diplomat for more than three decades—the newly appointed Ri is known to have little diplomatic experience.

He went to a reception for foreign envoys as the nation’s top diplomat, confirming his appointment, state media said Friday. Attending was “DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon and other officials of the ministry,” state media reported—using North Korea’s official name.