North Korea: Choe Son Hui

Experienced diplomat with powerful connections

Ms Choe Son Hui has extensive experience in international affairs and on nuclear issues.
Ms Choe Son Hui has extensive experience in international affairs and on nuclear issues.

They are diplomats on opposite sides and each has been a familiar face in the long-running negotiations between the United States and North Korea. They are now locked in talks again for the Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit.

SEOUL • North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, whose denunciation of United States Vice-President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" jeopardised the US-North Korea summit, is now heading a delegation in talks with their US counterparts at the truce village of Panmunjom on the border with South Korea.

Ms Choe, 54, is among the few high-level North Korean diplomats, travelling often to speak - in fluent English - at international conferences. Educated in China, Austria and Malta, she is known for strong connections to the Kim dynasty in Pyongyang and is expected to play a role in the upcoming June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2018, with the headline 'Experienced diplomat with powerful connections'. Print Edition | Subscribe