Who Is The Foreign Minister Of North Korea

Early Career

North Korea’s current Foreign Minister is Ri Son Gwon. Born in North Korea’s Hamgyong Province in 1956, Ri is the son of a former diplomat. As a young man, he attended several universities in Pyongyang to study law, economics, and political science. Following his graduation, he joined the Workers’ Party of Korea in 1983 and went on to become an active participant in various political and diplomatic circles.

In 1996, Ri gained national attention when he was appointed as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) plenipotentiary representative to the United Nations. In this role, he helped to negotiate the Korea-US Agreed Framework – an agreement wherein North Korea agreed to cease its nuclear weapons program in exchange for economic aid. Further positions of increasing prominence within MOFA followed, and Ri eventually rose to the rank of Chief Inspector.

Appointment to Office

In 2007, Ri was promoted to the rank of Deputy Minister, and he served in this role until 2009 – when he was appointed by the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly to the position of North Korean Foreign Minister.

Ri’s ascension to the role was notable not only for its impressive speed, but also because he did not have any previous diplomatic experience. On the contrary, Ri’s background was in the military, and he held his position as Minister of State Reform and Public Services for the Korean People’s Army.

The different perspectives on world events that Ri brings to his current post are proving to be of immense value to North Korea. His staunch nationalist perspective, willingness to make bold and assertive decisions, and authoritative manner has combined to make him a respected figure both within and outside North Korea’s borders.

Relations With China and Russia

Ri’s appointment as North Korean Foreign Minister coincided with the country’s development of closer ties with neighbouring powers China and Russia. As China and Russia have become increasingly involved in North Korean affairs, Ri has been an important figure in facilitating those relationships.

Most notably, Ri was a key negotiator in the talks preceding the 2019 Russia-North Korea Summit. In this capacity, he worked closely with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to ensure that both sides benefitted from the agreement. The Summit was widely celebrated as a success for both countries.

Role in Nuclear Negotiations

Ri’s influence in North Korea’s nuclear negotiations with the United States has been considerable. As Foreign Minister, he has been a major proponent of the country’s policy that their nuclear arsenal is not up for discussion. His firm stance on this issue has frustrated US negotiators, who had been hoping to reach an agreement on complete nuclear disarmament.

More recently, however, Ri played a crucial role in the Singapore and Hanoi Summits between North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un and US President, Donald Trump. His presence at the table helped to ensure that the two leaders were able to achieve a greater degree of understanding and cooperation.

Relationships With South Korea

Ri has been instrumental in mediating North Korea’s often tense relationship with its southern neighbour. He has a long-standing relationship with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, having been a key negotiator in the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit.

Since then, he has been the primary representative for the North in all talks and negotiations between the two countries. His stance has been sympathetic to the South, and he advocated for a peaceful resolution to the conflict that could benefit both nations.

Promoting North Korea’s Interests

In every aspect of his role, Ri is devoted to promoting North Korea’s interests. He has worked tirelessly to secure the nation’s place in the international community and improve its relations with its neighbours. With the US and South Korea, he has taken a firm stance on maintaining his country’s right to self-determination and protection of the Kim dynasty.

Given his background, training, and experience, Ri is well-equipped to tackle the complex and delicate diplomatic tasks that his role entails. Well-liked and respected inside and outside North Korea, Ri Son Gwon is the Foreign Minister North Korea deserves.

Sanctions Against North Korea

The role of Foreign Minister is one of great responsibility, and Ri has been working hard to uphold and represent his country’s stance in international affairs. Under his leadership, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tackling the numerous issues that have arisen due to the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Ri is committed to defending his country’s interests and ensuring that the sanctions do not have an excessively damaging impact on the nation. He has been vocal in his criticisms of the sanctions, and has been particularly critical of the US’ conduct in its attempts to further the sanctions despite North Korean initiatives towards denuclearization.

Position on Human Rights

Ri has also been outspoken in his views on North Korea’s human rights record. He has defended the country’s policies as necessary to promote stability and protect North Korea’s sovereignty. While almost all international observers are highly critical of North Korea’s human rights situation, Ri staunchly defends the nation’s actions as protecting the interests of its citizens.

At the same time, he is also aware of the need for the country to address its human rights record. He has taken a pragmatic approach to the issue and is open to dialogue and cooperation with the international community on the matter.

Pressuring China and Russia

Ri has voiced his displeasure at the lack of support China and Russia have shown North Korea in recent years. North Korea’s diplomatic relationships with the two countries are essential to its survival, but both countries have been focusing on fostering closer ties with South Korea.

Ri has thus sought to pressure the two nations into maintaining a closer relationship with North Korea. He has done this by strengthening North Korea’s relations with other countries and using the media to highlight the nation’s diplomatic initiatives.

Foreign Policy Vision

Overall, Ri’s foreign policy vision for North Korea is that of a strong, independent nation. Under his leadership, North Korea remains largely unconcerned with the opinions of other nations, but is willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation for the benefit of its citizens. Ri’s willingness to stand up for his country’s interests makes him a leader that is respected by the international community.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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