Ri Su-yong

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Ri Su-yong
리수용
Ri Su-yong.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 April 2014 – 9 May 2016
Premier Pak Pong-ju
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un
Preceded by Pak Ui-chun
Succeeded by Ri Yong-ho
Personal details
Born (1940-06-15) 15 June 1940 (age 78)
Alma mater University of International Affairs
Awards Order of Kim Jong-il

Ri Su-yong (Korean: 리수용; Korean pronunciation: [ɾi.su.joŋ]; born 15 June 1940), also known as Ri Chol,[a] is a North Korean diplomat and politician, serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea from April 2014 until May 2016.

Ri has served as a diplomat to Switzerland, and has represented North Korea at the United Nations mission in Geneva. He is the third North Korean foreign minister to speak before the United Nations General Assembly.

Career

Ri was the North Korean representative to the United Nations mission in Geneva in the 1980s.[1] Ri was the North Korean ambassador to Switzerland in the 1990s.[1] Before holding these posts he had worked in African embassies of North Korea. Ri was the vice-director of the Organization and Guidance Department in 2002.[2]

Ri was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea from April 2014 to May 2016.[3] He was appointed to the post in the first session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly in 2014,[4] replacing Pak Ui-chun.[5] Outside observers hailed the appointment as the most important in the cabinet,[6] suggesting his close relationship with Kim Jong-un and Kim Yo-jong played part.[5] It was also suggested that this may indicate change in the traditionally weak role of the Foreign Minister in North Korea.[1]

In 2014, Ri attended the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the time when the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was being discussed. Ri was the first North Korean foreign minister to attend the UNGA in 15 years[7] (and only the third ever, since Kim Yong-nam in 1992 and Paek Nam-sun in 1999),[8] signifying that North Korea took the allegations made by the COI very seriously.[7] Ri attended the UNGA again in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary session of the UNGA. In his statement to the assembly, described as unsurprising, Ri called for the United States to work toward a peace treaty in Korea in exchange for "dramatic improvement" in security of the Korean peninsula.[9]

In April 2014, Ri was also the first North Korean foreign minister to visit India in at least 25 years. He met with Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss North Korean nuclear program and regional security issues. Ri also met with Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari. It is also possible that Ri sought for Indian economic aid, or increased trade. India had given 1 million U.S. dollars as emergency aid through World Food Program in 2011.[10][11]

In May 2016, Ri Su-yong was replaced by Ri Yong-ho as the foreign minister. The shuffle was followed by the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea,[3] which elected Ri Su-yong a full member and Vice Chairman of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea,[12][13] a full member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, and the director of the party's International Relations Department.[13] In 2017, he was elected chairman of the Diplomatic Commission of the Supreme People's Assembly.[14]

Personal life

Ri was born on 15 June 1940. He studied at the University of International Affairs, studying at the department of French language.[2] Ri has a reputation of being innovative, open-minded and result-oriented among those he has worked with.[15]

Ri had been Kim Jong-il's classmate. During his career, Ri took care of many personal and financial affairs of Kim,[1] including his Swiss bank accounts.[16] Ri also guarded Kim's children:[1] Kim Jong-un, the present leader of North Korea, and Kim's sister Kim Yo-jong when the two were studying at an international school in Switzerland.[1] Ri received the Order of Kim Jong-il on 14 February 2012.[17]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ri Su-yong was known as Ri Chol in his previous posts during the 1980s up until at least 2012.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Madden, Michael (23 April 2014). "The DPRK Political Season: Two Post-Mortems : 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea". 38north.org. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b Yonhap News Agency, Seoul (27 December 2002). North Korea Handbook. M.E. Sharpe. p. 884. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5.
  3. ^ a b Hyung-jin Kim (17 May 2016). "North Korea Names Ex-Nuclear Envoy as New Foreign Minister". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Members of DPRK Cabinet Appointed". kcnawatch.nknews.org. KCNA. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b "NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 308 (April 10, 2014)". english.yonhapnews.co.kr. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  6. ^ IBP, Inc. (13 April 2015). Korea North Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Developments. Washington, DC: Lulu.com. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-4330-2780-2.
  7. ^ a b Jong-Chul; Park Jeong-Ho Roh, eds. (31 December 2014). Law and Policy on Korean Unification: Analysis and Implications. Seoul: Korean Institute for Reunification. p. 219. ISBN 978-89-8479-798-7.
  8. ^ Hotham, Oliver (1 September 2014). "DPRK foreign minister to attend UN General Assembly". nknews.org. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ "The Latest: North Korea's FM presses US for peace treaty". The Big Story. AP. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  10. ^ Ankit Panda (14 April 2015). "North Korea's Foreign Minister Makes Rare Visit to India". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  11. ^ Leo Byrne (13 April 2015). "First visit of North Korean FM to India in 25 years". NK News. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Official Report of Seventh Congress of the WPK". naenara.com.kp. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  13. ^ a b "Official Report of First Plenary Meeting of 7th WPK Central Committee Issued". KCNA. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  14. ^ https://piie.com/blogs/north-korea-witness-transformation/north-korean-signals-diplomatic-commission
  15. ^ "Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong's Southeast Asia Tour Roundup". Choson Exchange. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  16. ^ Gause, Ken E. (31 August 2011). North Korea Under Kim Chong-il: Power, Politics, and Prospects for Change. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-313-38175-1.
  17. ^ 北, 김정일훈장, 김정일상 등 수여 - 통일뉴스. tongilnews.com (in Korean). 14 February 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2015.

External links

  • Biography at North Korea Leadership Watch
  • Statement at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (2015)
  • "DPRK Foreign Minister Reiterates Its Commitment to Lasting Peace and Security on Korean Peninsula and Region" at Uriminzokkiri
  • "N. Korean FM Ri Su Yong says Pyongyang′s capable of preemptive strikes" on YouTube by Arirang News
  • 2016 interview by Associated Press
Political offices
Preceded by
Pak Ui-chun
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Ri Yong-ho
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kang Sok-ju
Director of the Workers' Party of Korea International Relations Department
2016–present
Incumbent
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